V.R. Powell

Van Renselaer Powell manufactured matches as early as 1859. He sold the business to Bogardus & Griswold in 1869, and that firm changed to J.M. Bogardus in 1870. Finally it was sold to the Atlantic Match Company under M.C. Miller in 1875. No changes were made to the stamp, which was issued from October of 1864 until July of 1875. 9,571,590 were issued on old paper and 3,195,010 on silk paper. This one is on silk paper.

The Powell wrappers were probably issued by American Phototype. Most copies are cut to shape, and there is some speculation that these were used as adhesive stamps, though why there would have been a need to do this is not known given that the companies had the small stamps available. Seven copies of the full wrapper are recorded in the Aldrich census, along with 22 copies cut to shape and 16 copies on thicker, white paper. Each of these has its own catalog number.

Even though the Powell wrappers were approved by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, shortly after their issue Powell was sued concerning the way they were used. This is the actual letter from Jno. G. Treadwell, Assessor 14th District, N.Y. "You will please commence suit against Van R. Powell of Troy, N.Y., manufacturer of matches... in not so affixing the stamp on the bunch of matches so as to effectually destroy the same. ... The probability is that the stamp is an unauthorized one....." On the back of the letter is written, "U.S. v. Van R. Powell - Suspended by order of court."