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treasury stamps & postal savings

1911 Postal Savings Cards and Stamps


These cards, when affixed with nine additional postal savings stamps, would be accepted as a $1 deposit into a postal savings account. An orange and a blue variant were issued by the Postal Service.  The savings card and savings stamps were issued in a 10 cent denomination. When the card contained a dollar of stamps, the Post Office would credit the depositor in a new or existing postal savings account.

1912  $500 Twenty-year Postal Savings Bond

Two and One-half Percent Registered Specimen

Until the beginning of the U.S. Savings Bond Program, Postal Savings Bonds provided an alternative savings option to traditional Treasury securities.  Paying interest in January and July, this security was exempt from any federal, state, and/or local taxation. 

This specimen is possibly unique.

1912  $500 Twenty-year Postal Savings Bond

Two and One-half Percent Bearer Specimen

Like the previous example, this bearer bond paid interest in January and July., 

This specimen is possibly unique.

1923 Postal Savings System Information Pamphlet


This pamphlet, printed in August of 1923, outlined the particulars of the Postal Savings System.  It explained the terms of deposit, interest paid, and other information regarding the savings program.


Printed by the Government Printing Office

1940  $1 Postal Certificate of Deposit

Two Percent Certificate

These certificates were initially available in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.  The Postal Service would later add $200, $500, $1000 and $2500 denominations.  They were nontransferable.

1950  $500 Postal Certificate of Deposit

Two Percent Certificate

1941  Savings Bonds / Postal-Savings Certificate Receipt

This postal form was used as a receipt for customers who purchased either U.S. Savings Bonds or Postal-Savings Certificates

 Postal Savings System Account Documents

Each Postal Savings Depositor was given a unique account number on a wallet/purse card.  In addition, a deposit card (to record transactions) along with a deposit envelope were provided.

1918 - 1921   $5 War Savings Stamps


As part of the funding effort of World War I, the Treasury issued War Savings Stamps to raise revenue.  Each stamp was issued at a discount and had a duration of five years, giving the stamps the properties of a zero-coupon security.  Since the smallest denomination war bond was $50, these stamps were seen as an affordable way to contribute to the war effort.  Each five-dollar series had a corresponding booklet to affix the stamps within. In addition, the Treasury Department issued a 25-cent Thrift Stamp. A completed book of these stamps could then be exchanged for a War Savings Stamp. The program raised some $900 million for the Treasury.

1918  25¢  War Savings Thrift Stamp


As an alternative to the War Savings Stamps, this thrift stamp was issued as a means of saving for the $5 stamp over time.  Unlike the $5 stamps, the thrift stamps paid no interest.  It was saved on cards of sixteen stamps which, when combined with a small payment (depending on the month), would then be exchanged by the Treasury Department for a $5 stamp. 

25¢  Thrift Stamp Small Savings Card

1921 Treasury Savings Card

1921  $1 Treasury Savings Stamp


This $1 savings stamp was issued by the Treasury in the post-war period.  Sold individually, it would be affixed to a savings card holding twenty stamps. The card would subsequently be exchanged for a Treasury Savings Certificate, which would yield approximately 4½% per annum, compounded semiannually, if held to maturity.  Certificates matured five years from the date of issue, and were only issued in registered format.  They came in $25, $100, and $1000 denominations.  The 1921 Treasury Savings Stamp program had low total sales compared with the earlier War Savings Stamps.

1941 Defense Savings Stamps

World War II required a massive financial expenditure by the United States.  In additional to the sale of both marketable Treasury bonds and U.S. Defense (late named War) Saving Bonds, the Post Office issued a series of Defense (and then War) Savings Stamps.  Unlike WWI however, these stamps earned no interest, and their sole purpose was as a savings mechanism for the purchase of Savings Bonds. The stamps featured a familiar patriotic image of a Revolutionary-era Minuteman, and were sold in the following denominations: 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, $1, and $5. These designs would be utilized after the war for a similar series of stamps, with the "War Savings" description along the right side of the stamp replaced with a "Savings Stamp" text.

1942 War Savings Stamps

1 Dollar Stamp Savings Booklet

5 Dollar Stamp Savings Booklet

Copyright The Joe I. Herbstman Memorial Collection of American Finance 


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