The Jeanette C. Rudy Duck Stamp Collection

Photograph of an Essay for the 1934 Issue

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Photograph of Alvin R. Meissner's Essay II for RW1

Bureau of Engraving and Printing designer Alvin R. Meissner produced two models for the first federal duck stamp based on the submissions by Ding Darling, one key difference between the two being the location of the numerals. This is a photograph of the rejected model, number II, also called a "photograph of an essay."

At the time, most models sent to the Post Office Department for approval were photographic prints of artwork and were mounted on gray board with a space for a signature and date. The Bureau usually produced several copies of the photograph in order to satisfy requests from the Post Office Department and to retain in its own files.

Requests for models reached the Bureau on April 25, 1934, and A. W. Hall, Bureau director, submitted models I and II to the Post Office Department on May 23, 1934. Postmaster General James Farley accepted model I on May 25, and Third Assistant Postmaster General C. B. Eilenberger immediately informed Hall. Hall submitted three die proofs on July 9, and Eilenberger then authorized the preparation of dies, rolls, and plates and the printing of 5,000,000 of the first federal duck stamp, to be available in Washington, D.C., on August 21, 1934. The color selected was blue, ink B-202-P. Die 12963 made rolls 23673 and 23675, which made the plates (129199, 129200, 129201, and 129202). There were 635,001 sold.