This is the first posting in a series that looks back a century to U.S. stamp issues in 1913.
The major U.S. stamp issue 100 years ago was the Panama-Pacific Commemorative Series. This series was a set of 4 stamps issued to celebrating two world-changing events: the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean and the completion of the Panama Canal.
The series comprises four denominations, 1, 2, 5, and 10 cents, all of which were first placed on sale at San Francisco, Calif., January 1, 1913, except the 2-cent denomination, which was first placed on sale at the same post office on January 18, 1913.
The stamps are about 3/4 of an inch high by 1 1/16 inches wide; at the top appear the words “U. S. Postage” and “San Francisco, 1915”; in the left-hand border is a branch of laurel and in the right-hand border a palm branch; a numeral expressing the denomination is shown within a circle in each lower corner, with the word “Cents” between.
They were issued to publicize the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco that would open in 1915 and would be one of the most extravagant fairs in history.