1956 vs. 1959

A few weeks ago, we looked at an old US Mint order form that was included with a 1959 Proof Set order.

1959 Proof Set Receipt from US Mint

Let’s look at one from 1956 and have fun comparing to learn what was kept the same and what changed in just three years.

1956 Proof Set Order and Receipt

Hmmmm, quite a few sections of the two forms are different.

Though it is not legible even on the the actual receipt, there is a red five digit number in the upper right corner of the 1956 receipt. Half of the number disappeared when the form was separated at the perforation. But, large number “2” shows in the upper right of the 1959 form.

The title remains the same between the two receipts, but the note below the title differs significantly.  In 1956, the note stated in black print, “If coins are not received within a reasonable time, please advise below and return.” But the 1959 format changed to red print between asterisks, “It is necessary that you refer to our Order No., shown hereon, when making any inquiry. An advice of Shipment will be mailed you when package is ready to leave the Mint.”

The blocks of information also changed between the years. In 1956, the blocks read from the left: Date Received, Type of Payment, No. of Sets Ordered, Year Requested, Type of Shipment, Cost, Refund and Type (if any) and Amount Received. The information blocks in 1959 changed: Date Received, No. of Sets Ordered, Year Requested, Cost, Type of Payment and Type of Shipment. Note that Refund and Type (if any) and Amount Received were no longer necessary in 1959.

In both forms, an Order Number shows to the right of the information blocks.

But, look at 1959, it adds blocks for Insurance and Unnumbered where in 1956 there is a black mottled area.

The lower part of the form remains similar between the two with the typed address and a place of the Date Shipped to be stamped. In 1956, they used a larger stamp with black ink whereas in 1959 the date was smaller in blue ink.

At the lower edge, the red “Advice of Shipment” shows on both forms. In addition, the 1956 form includes fine print with “Printed by the Standard Register Co., Dayton 1, Ohio, U.S.A.”

Notice, too, that between 1956 and 1959, some elements of the information blocks were pre-printed where in 1956, they were all typed. In particular, the No. of Sets Ordered, Year Requested, Cost and Type of Shipment were pre-printed in red ink along with the Insurance block.

Isn’t it interesting to look at the forms from 50+ years ago and think about the technology (or lack thereof) available to do the printing and packaging of the proof sets.