Chicago held the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding.  To commemorate the occasion, the United States Post Office released two commemorative stamps.

ImageThe Chicago Century of Progress: Fort Dearborn stamp was issued on May 25, 1933 to commemorate the exposition of the same name.  Two different stamps were issued for this event, the green one cent stamp and the purple three cent stamp.  The Exposition was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Chicago in 1833.  Pictured on the one cent green stamp is Fort Dearborn, an early outpost that was used to protect the area’s first settlers.  Both these stamps were popular with the stamp buying public and attendees of the Exposition.

An additional souvenir sheet was issued of this stamp (and the purple three cent stamp) consisting of a sheet of 25 stamps.  This was during the period that the Post Office began releasing multiple souvenir sheets and other variations such as large imperforate sheets of previously issued stamps as a method to raise funds.  Stamp collectors eventually complained about the expense, but this sheet of 25 stamps cost only 25 cents and didn’t have a major impact on most stamp collectors of the time.

Century of Progress: Three Centthe second stamp being the purple three cent Chicago Century of Progress: Federal Building stamp.  The exposition highlighted the progress that Chicago and the United States had made in technology and other fields over the preceding 100 years.  The design of the stamp features the Federal Building, one of the iconic structures featured at the Exposition.

A souvenir sheet of this stamp was also issued as a sheet of 25 three cent stamps.  Although it sold reasonably well, some stamp collectors felt that the Post Office was releasing too many variations of stamps to raise funds.  A few years later, the complaints became so common that the Post Office stopped the practice and only released occasional souvenir sheets.  Although not a commemorative, a third stamp, a green 50 cent airmail stamp featuring a German Zeppelin was issued with the Federal Building in the background.