Uganda - 1896 100 cowries violet, SG 53.

30/08/2012     Uganda

In 1894 the British Protectorate of Uganda was established, and to improve the otherwise non existent Postal sytem, George Wilson, a Government Official enlisted the aid of The Rev Ernest Millar of the Church Missionary Society. He was the only man in the Territory with a typewriter, to produce some stamps to pay for an internal postal system. The original "stamps" were simple rows of typed labels with U G in the top corners and the value from 10 to 50 cowries ( shells the currency of the area) in the middle. The stamps were all typed in black (the colour of the machine's only ribbon).

Because of the "hand typed" nature of these issues, there are many errors including tete-beche pairs, where the sheet was put in upside down to use all available space, and nearly all are cancelled by a pen stroke.

The particular stamp illustrated was produced in 1896, after the arrival in 1895 from England, of a new typewriter. This had a narrower typeface and a violet ribbon, and to mark the occasion the initials V. R. were introoduced to the design at the top, and the word Uganda at the foot of each stamp. They were still produced in typewritten sheets with each different value from 5c to 100c in rows of 10.

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