This die was originally engraved in 1864 for T.H. Alexander & Co. of Baltimore, Maryland. Alexander had stamps printed in orange on old paper.
Alexander's Matches Stamps
On May 7, 1867, Alexander wrote to Butler & Carpenter and offered the die for sale. The die was sold to J.J. Macklin of Covington, Kentucky, who ordered stamps from the unmodified Alexander die between May 1868, and July 1869. These stamps were also printed on old paper and cannot be distinguished from the earlier printings issued to Alexander. After July 1869, no stamps were printed from the die until March 1874, when the die was transferred to England & Bell of Baltimore, Maryland. The Butler and Carpenter records indicate that stamps were to be furnished from the unmodified Alexander die until the “necessary change” could be made to the die. No change was made to the die for England & Bell, and the firm received stamps printed in orange on silk paper, as well as a small number of stamps printed in blue on silk paper.
Eisenhart's Matches Essay
The fourth owner of the Alexander die was J. W. Eisenhart of York, Pennsylvania. Eisenhart sold his company to the Diamond Match Company around 1881. Unlike J.J. Macklin, and England & Bell, Eisenhart had the die modified to display his company name. Between September and December 1875, National Bank Note Company prepared an essay reading "Eisenhart's Matches."
J.W. Eisenhart's Matches Stamp
The design was modified to read "J.W. Eisenhart's Matches" and Eisenhart received his first shipment of stamps in December 1875.