EL SALVADOR achieved independence from Spain in 1821; the Republic of El Salvador was proclaimed in 1841. The nation’s first stamps featuring an active volcano (possibly the Izalco) were issued in January 1867; stamps with this design were discontinued in 1874. This became necessary after a large quantity of these stamps was stolen; it was therefore decided to cease their postal validity. The remaining stock was overprinted in black in 1874 with a circular device featuring the national coat of arms in the center, surrounded by the legend ‘Contrasello – 1874′. The postage stamps had been printed by the American Bank Note Co., New York, but from 1879 to 1887 stamps were printed locally. The design was similar to the previous one. The American Bank Note Co. produced El Salvador’ stamps from 1881 to 1889 depicting the female figure of the country. During the 1890s Nicholas Frederick Seebeck (1857-1899) an American businessman and printer, secured contracts for printing stamps of many Latin American nations. These contracts allowed him unprecedented permission to reprint the stamps at his leisure and decide the actual face value of stamps irrespective of postal needs. His contract with El Salvador spanned his last years from 1890 to 1898; he did not charge the post office for the printing of stamps and introduced a new design each year. The unsold stock of the previous year was returned to him. After his death the postal authority overprinted the remaining stock of the Seeback creations. The new century saw Bradbury Wilkinson printing a Columbus set for El Salvador and later on the American Bank Note Co. resumed the printing of postage stamps for El Salvador.
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