Demas S. Barnes was a prolific patent medicine manufacturer. Barnes started his wholesale drug business in New York City in 1853 and was highly prosperous. In 1866 he was elected to the United States Congress, and served one term (1867-1869). Barnes was one of the first to request private die stamps after they were authorized, and the first three Barnes stamps were approved by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in September 1862. These were the 1¢, 2¢, and 4¢ D.S. Barnes stamps in a vertical format printed in black and in vermillion. In 1864, Barnes directed Butler and Carpenter to delete the facsimile signature “D. S. Barnes” on each of the three stamps and to replace the signature with his name “Demas Barnes” in large and small capital roman type.
Demas Barnes 1, 2, and 4¢ Private Die Stamps
Demas Barnes had Butler and Carpenter prepare this 6 cent essay in late 1864. A printing plate was prepared and plate essays are known; however, no stamps were ever issued with this design. Barnes never used a six cent private die stamp.
Demas Barnes 6¢ Essay
Demas Barnes 6¢ Plate Essay, block of 4
In 1866, Barnes & Co. had new dies prepared in a horizontal format, with a vignette of the building at 21 Park Row instead of a portrait of Demas Barnes. The new stamps were issued in 1¢, 2¢, and 4¢ values in black. The firm is last mentioned in business directories in 1870.