CW Era - Four Tintypes with Tax Stamps
This is set of four circa 1864 tintypes in paper frames with cancelled blue Washington 2 cent tax stamps on the backs of each picture.
In 1861, with the beginning of the Civil War, the federal government was basically bankrupt and needed a quick source of revenue. To generate this 'internal revenue', taxes were collected on domestic items such as tobacco, alcohol, medicine, perfume and playing cards. The Revenue Act of 1862 had established new taxes on many everyday items and called for specific stamps for each taxable item. Butler and Carpenter of Philadelphia was awarded the printing contract scarely two months before the law was to go into effect. These First Issue Revenue stamps have portraits of George Washington with each taxable category having its own verbage at the bottom of the stamp.
In June 30, 1864, as the financial demands of the Civil War increased, Congress added a new luxury tax on "photographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes or any other sun-pictures." Photographers were required to affix a properly denominated revenue stamps on the back of the image and cancel it by initialing and dating it in pen. Even with this addition of photography as part of the taxable luxuries, there was no particular category for them and any category stamp could be used for them. It is rare to find these tax stamps in such great condition and still attached to the back of its original taxed item.
Each tintype in its paper frame is 2.25" x 3.5".