The die was originally engraved in 1864 for the Greenleaf Match Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Greenleaf & Co. Stamp
The Greenleaf Match Company was a partnership of Frank H. Greenleaf, P.B. Hill, and Samuel Ball. In 1867 or 1868, Greenleaf retired, and the match factory was operated by Barber & Co. with Edward Barber, Hill, and Ball being the partners. Barber & Co. continued to use the Greenleaf stamps until 1873, when the company was succeeded by Barber, Jones & Co.
Barber, Jones & Co. Stamp
In the new company, Edward Barber, Eugene A. Jones, and Priam B. Hill were partners. The new company had the Greenleaf stamp modified with the addition of “B. J. & Co.” over the phoenix in the central medallion, while retaining the name Greenleaf & Co. in the ribbon at the top of the stamp. By January 1874, Edward Barber apparently left the company and the name changed to Eugene A. Jones & Co.
Eugene A. Jones & Co. Essay and Compound Die Essay
In January 1874, the new company instructed Carpenter to modify the “B. J. & Co.” die by removing the name “Greenleaf and Co.” and replacing it with “Eugene A. Jones & Co.” In February 1874, they also requested that Carpenter remove the “B. J. & Co.” from the die. Despite this request, the essay approved by the Internal Revenue Service on March 3, 1874 retains the “B. J. & Co.” imprint over the phoenix in the central medallion, as do all of the recorded die essays. This essay also exists as a compound die proof with the 2¢ Barry's Proprietary proof. On March 4, 1874 Carpenter wrote that, “[t]he new plate from altered die of Greenleaf & Co., later Barber, Jones & Co., is ready for the press.” No plate essays are known, and no stamps were ever ordered from the plate.
Kirby & Sons Stamp
This was probably due to the fact that by August of 1874, the company had taken on a new partner and was then known as Kirby & Jones. By April 1875 the company was succeeded by Kirby & Sons, which may have used the B.J. & Co. stamps until November 1875, when the Kirby & Sons stamps were first issued. Kirby & Sons then modified the B. J. & Co. die to remove the "B. J. & Co." and replaced the Greenleaf & Co. name with Kirby & Sons.