Saturday, July 24, 2010

What Happened To The 1/2-Cent Stamp?

Back around 1960, or earlier, I had reason to use some half-cent stamps and Ben Franklin’s face was on them. Never saw one since.

Of course, when was the last time we needed postage that exact? A half-cent won’t get your letter out of your front yard and the three-cent stamp has gone the way of the penny postcard. But where were the protests? The letters to the editor? The petitions? Ben just slid between the postal waves without any notice.

Not so with Mr. A. Lincoln. He is the face, the very voice of our most useless coin of the realm, the penny. We don’t need it, we seldom use it, some places just round up or down to the nearest nickel. But feelings run high when you start talking about eliminating the coin. Elections could be won or lost, I think, depending on your stand.

At one time, a penny had value, but that was a very long time ago, when penny candy cost just that much, when Mom would pick up a stray cent and say, “That pays the tax” on her next purchased item. Now it’s 6.5% and she used plastic. When I bought a snack in NYC for $7.02, they just asked for $7; “forget the pennies.”

Maybe our attachment, emotional though it may be, will keep the Lincoln in circulation. Or maybe we will notice there just aren’t that many around anymore. Nobody says anything; it’s just a slow disappearance of a coin we don’t want, we don’t use and has come to the end of its useful life. A nickel for your thoughts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think my father ever spent a penny. He saved them all. After my mother's death, we emptied the house and took those pennies to the bank. After several trips - and a near hernia or two - we got over $400. Have you noticed an increase in the penny supply lately? They are my dad's.

July 26, 2010 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A stamp is a tax, right?

Check this:

In Canada we pay Provincial and Federal sales taxes on postage stamps.....

As we say in French,

''Plus 'cheap' que ça, tu meurs''

(Any cheaper than that you die!)

Exit 318

July 29, 2010 7:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home