William Gates
William Gates' Sons

The Gates match factory pre-dated the Civil War, and their private die stamps were issued from September of 1864 until August of 1865. 82,011,990 were issued on old paper and 68,925,725 were issued on silk paper. Two dies are known. There are a number of differences, the most commonly mentioned ones being shading on the shirt collar and around the top part of the circle around the portrait on die 2. The stamp at the left above is Die 1 on old paper, while the one on the right is Die 2 on silk paper.

In 1865 Gates had three-cent strip stamps printed for packages containing 300 matches. These were issued from March of that year through March of 1876. 20,122,200 were issued on old paper and 13,338,054 on silk paper. The one above is on silk paper.

The long strip stamps on this page are reproduced at half the size of the smaller ones.

Six-cent stamps were also delivered between September of 1864 and April of 1871. 434,433 were issued, all on old paper.

A second design of the three-cent stamp for packages of 300 matches was approved to be issued in April of 1876 until September of 1877. The unusual design was that of three one-cent stamps. 10,309,032 were issued on silk paper.

After the death of William Gates in 1877 three of his sons ran the business until it was sold to the Diamond Match Company in 1881. At that time William B. Gates was elected treasurer, but his health was poor and he couldn't perform the duties of that office. The William Gates' Sons one-cent stamp was patterned after the Die 2 version of the William Gates stamp. These were issued from September of 1877 through February, 1883. 6,472,944 were issued on silk paper and 107,248,555 on pink and watermarked papers. The copy above is on watermarked paper.

Rouletted copies exist, but are also manufactured from wide-margined perforated copies. The buyer must be careful here.

A version of the three-cent stamp was also issued for William Gates' Sons from September of 1877 until October, 1880. 21,858,000 were issued on silk, pink and watermarked papers. This copy is on watermarked paper.

Die proofs on India paper of the Die 1 William Gates stamp and the six-cent strip stamp.