Adams & Co.’s Express

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Adams & Co.’s Express was started in California in September 1849.
The control of the Western branch was entrusted to D. Hale Haskell.
The head office was in San Francisco, and the chief occupation of the Company was in the transportation of gold dust.
Among the clerks in the office was John M. Freeman, who afterwards founded the Freeman & Co.’s Express.
In 1854 Adams and Wm. B. Dinsmore (his partner, now President of Adams’ Express in the East) retired from the California Company, Haskell and J.C. Woods assuming the proprietorship; but the name of Adams & Co. was retained.
The new association was not successful like its predecessor, and bankruptcy, with ultimate absorption of the assets by Wells, Fargo & Co., resulted.


First adhesive printed west of Mississippi
The picture is thought to represent D. Hale Haskell

Forgeries
2 forgeries are known

 

Forgery A (Left)
1. The background in the center oval consists of horizontal lines without cross hatching.
2. The four circles in the corners of the stamp have sixteen points, but they are not equal.
3. There is a dent in the outline at the back of the head above the very crude ear
4. The word “cents” reads as “CENS” in the lower right circle.
5. The word “cents” reads as “CEPIS” in the lower left circle.
6.
No ear is visible on the portrait.
7. The hair
is represented by heavy dark shading and there are no waves visible as in the original.
8.
There is coarse dotted shading on the neck and jaw and on the left side of the forehead.
9. There is a period after “EXPRESS” in the lower inscription but none in the upper inscription.
10
. The horizontal lines are enclosed in a single frame line and outside this there is one thick frame line.

 Forgery B (Right)
1. The background in the center oval consists of horizontal lines without cross hatching.
2. There is dotted shading on the jaw and chin and at the left side of the forehead.

3. The four circles in the corners of the stamp each have sixteen serrations or points as in the originals, but here the serrations are unequal and irregular.
4
. There is a small misshaped period after “EXPRESS.”.
5. At the back of the head above the ear, there is a dent in the outline.
6. The portrait shows a very rudimentary ear.
7. The word “CENTS” is reasonably legible in each corner circle.

 The 2nd issue normally has the control markings L R for Louis Reed or less commonly ICW for Issiah C. Wood

 Forgeries


Forgery A (above)
1. The side ovals it read “25 CTS” instead of “25 CENTS”.
2. The comer circle CTS letters are all the same size without the small dot under the T
3. There is a stroke between the “2” and the “5” in the upper left circle
4. The oval is framed by only two lines, the fine center line is missing.
5. The overall portrait is very coarse with heavy shading on the jaw & cheeks


Forgery B
1. Possibly made by J.W. Scott
2. The upper right circle is oval and there is a “C” instead of CTS.
3. There are lines in the collar not in the genuine
4. The ear is barely visible
5. The oval is framed by only two lines, the fine center line is missing.
6. There are lines over the CTS in the lower circles

 

The next 2, I have no details on forgeries. The right one is common and may not have seen postal use which probably accounts for no forgeries.
The left reads: “RATE 25c PER 1/2 OZ.”
The right reads: “OVER OUR CALIFORNIA LINES ONLY”


The last issue does not appear to have any forgeries

These were used for Envelopes and newspapers. They are very scarce.
There is also a 25c envelope stamp