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Kansas 1929 stamp.png
Nebraska 1929 stamp.png
In 1929 the US Post Office began issuing postage stamps overprinted with the words "Kans." and "Nebr." to crack down on the sale of stamps stolen from the states of Kansas and Nebraska. (Apparently there were a lot of post office robberies in those areas at the time, and authorities believed the robbers were likely to cross state lines after nabbing the goods. By marking the stamps as definitively originating in Kansas or Nebraska, postal authorities made them more easily traceable outside those states and thus less valuable to the robbers).

I'm wondering if anyone here happens to know the name of the serif font used on this series of stamps, or knows of any font I could download that very closely resembles it. I've looked up these stamps in various philatelic guides, but the only mention I've located of that typeface merely points out that counterfeiters attempted to use old typewriters to simulate the (electrotype plate–printed) overprint, but that typewriters from that era often left small unintended punctures in the paper. (Who knew postage stamp thievery and counterfeiting to be such a popular enterprise?!)

For that matter, does anyone know of a good font, program, or add-on to simulate the uneven inking of old-style overprinting? I'm attempting to create a very manual effect in an entirely digital format, though so far every digital attempt at manual I've seen looks pretty hokey, so I'm wondering if I'll just have to bite the bullet and locate a typewriter or manually-inking stamp for the text that I'll then scan in afterwards. (It's for a book of poems, not for counterfeiting or postal thievery, I swear!) :)

Any ideas or helpful leads you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
asked by (103 points)
Kevin just gave some great suggestions below for emulating the style with digital fonts. I may be able to help identify the original metal typeface, if you're interested in that, which may also help narrow down your digital choices. Do you have any other samples? The more (and larger) the samples, the better!
Great thanks to kthomps5, and to Stewf here! I think some of these samples kthoms5 linked to will prove useful to my project.

The only other samples I have of the original font likewise only say "Kans." or "Nebr." -- no other states ever took up the overprinting idea, mainly because the US Post Office felt the series didn't successfully foil burglars, and because some local post offices remained unfamiliar with the practice and refused to accept the legitimately overprinted stamps. There were twenty-two stamps altogether in the Kansas/Nebraska 1929 series -- eleven with "Kans." overprinted and eleven with "Nebr." overprinted -- from denominations ranging from 1 to 10 cents (plus 2 1-1/2-cent stamps). The official US Post Office numbering of the stamps regards them as stamps #658–679, so there's tons of philatelic websites with large pictures of each of them (e.g., , with separate stamps in the series viewable singly or in uncut sheets on click-thru).

If you can determine any further the original metal typeface from such a small sampling of letters (albeit featured on many different stamps) I'd appreciate it, but if not, no worries, as I do think I should be able to find something useable from the fonts kthoms5 linked to.

2 Answers

+2 votes

There are a great number of distressed typewriter fonts on the market. Another link here.

If you want a distressed vintage look, but not necessarily typewriter style, try Walden Fonts or the Antique Texts offerings of

answered by Expert (3.5k points)
+1 vote
answered by Champ (4.1k points)