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B&O Railroad Issue

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3-cent Baltimore & Ohio Railroad single

The 125th anniversary of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) was commemorated with a 3-cent stamp issued in Baltimore on February 28, 1952. The background of the design depicts the charter granted to the railroad by the Maryland legislature in 1827. The design also includes a pioneer car, the "Tom Thumb" (the first American built steam locomotive), and a 'modern' diesel locomotive of the type common in 1952. The original mainline of the B&O stretched from Baltimore to Wheeling, on the Ohio River. The railroad eventually reached Chicago and St. Louis.

Charles R. Chickering of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing designed the B&O commemorative. He based the design on material provided by the B&O Railroad. Charles A. Brooks engraved the vignette, and John S. Edmondson engraved the numerals and lettering. Six 200-subject electric-eye printing plates (#24603-24608) were used on the rotary Stickney Press. Plates were used in pairs on the press, so each rotation of the press produced two sheets of 200 stamps, each of which was divided into four fifty-subject panes for distribution to post offices. Stamps were perforated 11x10.5 and printed on unwatermarked paper.

The 3-cent B&O commemorative paid the postage for a one ounce first-class domestic letter.

Rod Juell

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