Papermaking and Ink Chemistry of the 'United States Three-Cent Banknote Issue'

Prof. Alexandra Pekarovicova
Executive Summary

There is lack of evidence about fiber composition, paper surface characteristics, ink composition, and printing processes applied in producing stamps. This proposal is aiming to fill in gaps in analytical chemistry for philatelists. Non destructive and destructive techniques will be applied to reveal fiber composition, fiber anatomy, ink chemistry and paper differences among different editions of US Three- cent Continental stamps. Roughness of the paper will be analyzed by Emveco roughness tester. Chemistry of printed ink will be evaluated by means of ICP-MS , VIS and FT IR spectroscopy. An article summarizing results of this project will be written and submitted to the Journal of Cultural Heritage and to The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues.

The Results (PDF) of this study were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Technical Association of Graphic Artists Pittsburgh, PA. March 6-9, 2011 There is also an Insight Report.

John Barwis, IAP President, will be preparing a modified version of this report, which will include additional data, for the Chronicle, the journal of the US Philatelic Classics Society. This project was cofunded by IAP and the USPCS.