The Jeanette C. Rudy Duck Stamp Collection

The First Duck Stamp Ever Sold

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Ding Darling's Signature on RW1 and Federal Form 3333

On August 22, 1934, Ding Darling purchased the first duck stamp ever sold. He affixed it to a Federal Form 3333, signed it, and presented it to William M. Mooney, postmaster at the main post office in Washington, D.C. Mooney also signed the form. Darling used Form 3333 because the District of Columbia did not issue hunting licenses. One of a kind, it is the most rare and valued of all federal duck stamps.

Law required that federal duck stamps appear on a sportsman's state hunting license. In some states, however, sportsmen did not need a state license to hunt on their own property. Nonetheless, the law required them to purchase the federal duck stamp. In such situations, postmasters affixed the stamp to Form 3333. Though Federal Form 3333 was intended only for the 1934 issue, some postmasters, especially in remote areas, kept a supply and continued using the form for many years. The Post Office Department issued approximately 3,175 of this form.