A visit to Northfield, Minnesota this summer to see Bob Hohertz led to the discovery of another Provident Savings Life printed cancel, this time on a 40 cent R170 that I had previously speculated might exist. The 40 and 80 cent battleships were issued for insurance company use, and as Provident used printed cancels on the 80c R172, such a cancel was likely on the 40 cent stamp. On the 40c the cancel is red, like it is on the dollar values.
Bob is a retired actuary, providing an ironic twist to finding this stamp in his collection. An actuary named Sheppard Homans ran Provident Savings Life. Mr. Homans developed the first actuarial table based on American death rates, and it was called the American Experience Table. Bob told me that he used this table early in his career.
This is probably the third or fourth post with a mention of Provident Savings Life cancels. Now the search for these cancels is getting very interesting, as there are now 4 known printed cancels as illustrated below plus a handstamp on the $5 value.
If you have a stamp with a cancel like this in your collection on a value other than those illustrated below, please write to email@example.com.
R170 40 cent documentary
R172 80 cent documentary
R173 $1 commerce documentary
R174 $3 commerce documentary
R175 $5 commerce documentary