Monday, December 22, 2014

Northern Pacific Steamship Stamps -- Early 1900s

A sheet of 10 Steamship Stamps
For collectors of antique paper, stamps create an entirely separate category. Within that category, railroad and shipping companies issued stamps to advertise their business. Hopefully, the stamps would be placed on correspondence (snail mail) and create an interest in travel.

According to Wikipedia, collecting stamps is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Stamps are often collected for their historical value and geographical aspects and also for the many different subjects depicted on them, ranging from ships, horses, and birds to kings, queens and presidents. People who collect stamps are sometimes known as philatelists ... which comes from the word philately, the study of stamps. The stamps we are showing you in this post are called "cinderellas" because they do not have any postage value.

Q. Are these stamps rare?  A. Not extremely rare, but unusual finds today, these stamps were issued by the Great Northern Pacific Steamship Company in the early 1900s. There were several "series" of stamps issued, this is "Series 2" which consists of 10 stamps showing various parts of the steamship known as S. S. Northern Pacific, which plied the waters between Portland, Oregon; Astoria, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii. Travelling by ship in the early 1900s was much more special than it is today with cruising being so common and economical.

These stamps are a good example of how looking at something online may actually be easier than looking at the real stamps ... Each of the 10 stamps have been enlarged for easy viewing ...

S. S. Northern Pacific

Wheel House

Dining Room

Smoking Room

Promenade Deck

Observation Parlor

Engine Room

Deck Scene

Private Suite

Writing Room
Please let us know if you have questions. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. These are wonderful, John. I love looking into the past in those pictures. That suite is huge! :-)

  2. hum...wouldn't have expected it was that big. When I was a pre-teen, my Grand got me a starter pack. I stayed with it about four hours, I think.

  3. pretty neat and quite detailed scenes!

  4. They are really nice. I've never seen stamps like these before. What a nice thing to collect.

  5. I have never seen anything quite like these. Very pretty and unusual.

  6. Those are very neat stamps! My family used to collect postage stamps.

  7. John, I'll have to show this post to my husband. He is a "phormer" philatelist! Wish I could take a luxurious cruise, but I'm afraid I'd be seasick the whole time.


Questions, Compliments, and/or Suggestions: If you ask a question, please check back here, on the blog, for an answer within, usually, a day or two. Thank you in advance for compliments. I’ll try to keep an open mind about suggestions. All comments are moderated. Please note: Comments with active links will not be published. Comments with an inactive link are probably okay.


Robbery in Progress So tempting! [Click on images for larger view] Yummm! My neighbors recently hung a bird feeder in one of their trees. Th...