Skip to main content

Cross Border Mail
Private Die Essays
Peter Eichele
Eisenhart's Matches
Electric Match Co.
Eugene A. Jones
E.W. King
D.M. Richardson
J. Winslow Jones
Demas Barnes
B Brandreth
Wm. E. Clarke
C.M. Evans
Holloway & Co.
Bennett Pieters & Co.
J.B. Rose & Co.
University Medicines
X. Bazin
Dr. Gounod
George W. Laird
Lawrence & Cohen
Embossed Revenues
L&K Revenues
L&K Postal History
Washington County
Frosinone Postal History
AQ Lettersheets
Contact Us
Site Map
The B. Brandreth Essay is one of the most interesting essays.  B. Brandreth had a private die stamp containing the phrase "United States Certificate of Genuineness."  This stamp was 24 x 30 mm.

B. Brandreth "Certificate of Genuineness" stamp (24 x 30 mm.)


Brandreth then asked Butler and Carpenter to prepare an identical stamp except in a larger size - 41 x 50 mm.  While work on the new stamp was progressing, Brandreth asked Butler and Carpenter to change the phrase "United States Certificate of Genuineness" to "Guaranteed Genuine." 
On December 1, 1874, Joseph Carpenter wrote to Brandreth to inform him that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue had rejected the “Guaranteed Genuine” essay. Joseph Carpenter informed Brandreth that:
[t]he communication from him returning the proof impression unapproved is as follows: “you are informed that the word ‘guaranteed genuine’ which appears thereon must be cut from the die before it can be approved. Dr. Brandreth has been heretofore informed that it would be necessary to have the words ‘United States Certificate of Genuineness’ cut from the private stamp heretofore used by him, as it is not deemed proper that a stamp issued by the United States should be in the nature of a certificate of the genuineness of any ‘preparation.’”

B. Brandreth "Guaranteed Genuine" essay (41 x 50 mm.)

Thereafter, Brandreth substituted the words “Allcock’s Porous Plaster” in place of the words “Guaranteed Genuine” and this design was approved on December 14, 1874. Brandreth received but one order of 220,000 stamps in the large format in January 1875.  Brandreth found that the larger sized stamp was difficult to handle and did not look good on the package.

B. Brandreth "Allcock's Porus Plaster" stamp (41 x 50 mm.)

On January 9, 1875, Brandreth requested that the small stamp be changed to read “Allcock’s Porous Plaster” so that the small stamp would have the same wording as the large stamp. The revised small stamp was approved on March 4, 1875, and Brandreth took deliveries of stamps in that design between March 1875 and April 1883.

B. Brandreth "Allcock's Porous Plaster" stamp (24 x 30 mm.)


Brandreth also used the "Certificate of Genuineness" language on the outer packaging for his pills.  This engraved label was placed on the outer wrapper for a package of 36 boxes of Brandreth's Pills.  The label states that, "All pills sold for use within the limits of the United States, have a Government Stamp thereon.  By special permission this stamp is a CERTIFICATE OF GENUINENESS, each one having on it the words B. BRANDRETH in white letters.