Complete Set of 2, 1875 10c Washington & 5c Franklin

# 3-4 - Complete Set of 2, 1875 10c Washington & 5c Franklin

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U.S. #3-4
1875 Franklin and Washington
  • Official reproductions of the 1847 Issue of America’s First Postage Stamps
  • Set features the portraits of Benjamin Franklin – America’s first postmaster general and George Washington – America’s first president
  • Not valid for postage 
  • Extremely scarce
Stamp Category:  Official Reproductions
Set:  1875 Issue
Value:  Sold at face values of 5c (#3) and 10c (#4); Not valid for postage
Issue Date:  1875
First Day City:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                          
Note:  Some are of the opinion the stamps were sold only at the office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General in Washington, D.C.                                                              
Quantity Printed:  11,450(#3) and 10,000 (#4)                                                                    
Quantity Sold:  4,779 (#3) and 3,883 (#4)                                                                        
Printed by:  Bureau of Printing and Engraving from newly created dies                                                
Printing Method:  Engraving                                                                                   
Format:  
Panes of 50 subjects, 10 stamps across and five down                                                                   
Perforations:  Imperforate                                                                                                    
Color:  Red brown  
Paper:  Ungummed bluish wove paper
 
Why the stamps were issued:  The stamps were issued by order of the U.S. Post Office Department in conjunction with the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition.  Postal authorities hoped to sell all U.S. stamps at the Exhibition, even those no longer in use. 
 
About the stamp design: 
The portrait of Franklin, which originally appeared on the 1847 #1 US stamp, was based on a painting by James B. Longacre.  Longacre (1794-1869) was not only a portraitist, but also an engraver, becoming the fourth Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint.  The image of Washington, which appeared on the 1847 #2 US stamp, was based on an unfinished portrait of Washington by Gilbert Stuart.  According to the National Gallery of Art, Gilbert Stuart painted over 100 portraits of George Washington.       
 
Special design details:  Differences between the #3 and #4 reproductions and the originals:
 
The initials of the printers of the originals – RWH&E (Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson) – appear at the bottom of both reproductions, centered inside the frame line.  However, the initials are less distinct than on the original #1 and #2. 
 
The bottom of the right side of the “N” of “CENTS” comes to a point on both reproductions; on the originals, it is squared off.                                                                                                                                
U.S. #3:  On the 5c reproduction, the white ruffle on Franklin’s shirt connects with the oval frame more or less evenly with the top of the numeral “5”; on the original, it does so with the top of the “F” of the word “Five”.  Also, the bottom of the right side of the “N” comes to a point; on the original, it is squared off.
 
U.S. #4:  On the 10c reproduction, the left bottom edge of Washington’s coat touches the inner frame at the right tip of the numeral “X” and the right edge points to the center of the “S” in “CENTS”; on the original, the left side of the coat lines up with the “T” in “TEN”, and the right side between the “T” and “S” of “CENTS”. 
 
The line of Washington’s mouth is straight, while on the original, it curves upward.  And on the reproduction, Washington’s eyes have a sleepy look, as opposed to their more wide-eyed appearance on the original.  
 
About the printing process: 
 
U.S. #3 and 4 were printed by hand, which consisted of line engravingthe design onto the steel plate of a flat bed press.  The plate was inked and heated.  A sheet of damp paper was laid on the plate.  A heavy wooden or metal piece on the press, called a platen, was rolled over the plate, transferring the ink to the paper.  Each sheet was put aside to dry.  All the work was done manually, making for a slow process and only a few thousand stamps printed each day.  The early flat bed (or flat plate) press was called a “Spider” press. 
 
The original 5¢ Franklin (U.S. #1) and 10c Washington (U.S #2) were printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson.  The original plates and dies were thought to be destroyed, so new ones were created for these ungummed reproductions.  They were the first stamps printed by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.  New dies and plates were created in panes of 50 subjects. 
 
History the Stamps Represent:
 
Created for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition by order of the U.S. Post Office Department
On May 10, 1876, the first official World’s Fair in the United States was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Called the Centennial International Exhibition, the fair commemorated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
The goal of the U.S. Post Office Department was to display and sell every U.S. stamp at the exhibition, including those no longer in use.  However, there were no U.S. #1s or #2s to be found.  They’d been demonetized in 1851, and the remainders destroyed nearly 25 years earlier.  Even the printing plates had disappeared, likely destroyed.  What to do?  Create new plates and print new #1s and#2s, of course!
 
The Post Office Department ordered the new stamps from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, intending to sell them only as a set.  They would be the very first produced by the BEP.  So in addition to being reproductions of America’s first stamps, #3 and #4 represent yet another historic philatelic first.             
           
Most sources say the reproductions of U.S. #1 and #2 were actually sold at the 1876 Exhibition.  (At least one says they were only available from the office of the third assistant postmaster general in Washington, D.C.)  The envelope containing the set was labeled “One Set Specimen Postage Stamps Issue of 1847” and “Obsolete:  Not receivable for postages.”
 
Not realizing they had created philatelic rarities, the Post Office Department sold the reproductions as planned.  Observant collectors noticed subtle differences between them and the original stamps, and Scott gave them their own numbers.  
 
US #3 and #4 were issued in very small quantities.  And only 4,779 #3s and 3,883 #4s were sold.  Most of the unsold stamps were destroyed.  Who knows how many are left out there for collectors now?  One thing is for sure – not enough!  They’re so scarce we don’t even list them in Mystic’s U.S. Stamp Catalog.
                                                                                                                                                             
Top Nine Reasons Why You Should Add Scarce #3 and #4 to Your Collection:
  1. It’s like owning America’s First Stamps without the cost.
  2.  Great price...  Saves you thousands off Mystic’s price for mint U.S. #1 and #2. 
  3. Extremely scarce.  Stamps we’ve rarely ever seen at Mystic.   
  4. Low issue quantity and only a few thousand of each sold – the rest destroyed.  There aren’t nearly enough out there for collectors.  And that means you’ll be one of the lucky few to own them.  
  5. Fresh mint condition.  Vibrant color and clear impression even after 148 years. 
  6. Neat story – part of US and philatelic history… history you hold in your hands. 
  7. First Issues of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.
  8. Beautifully engraved with Old World precision… from the classic period of US stamps. 
  9. Very close in appearance to the originals.  It’s fun and exciting to discover the little differences.    
 
More about the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition:
Funding for the 1876 fair came from the city of Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania, and extensive fund raising.  New hotels were built and transportation improved to bring people to Philadelphia.  The 115-acre fairgrounds housed more than 200 buildings: five main buildings, and separate structures for state, federal, foreign, corporate, and public exhibits.  
           
The fair’s formal name was “The International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine.”  It was more commonly known as the Centennial Exhibition.   The fair opened on May 10, 1876, with the ringing of bells throughout Philadelphia.  President Ulysses S. Grant, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, and their wives participated in the opening ceremonies.  The first day, 186,272 people were in attendance.     
           
Visitors to the fair saw a number of new inventions, including sewing machines, typewriters, stoves, and air-powered tools.  Among the most popular exhibits were the world’s first monorail system, and the torch and arm of the Statue of Liberty.  Visitors paid 50¢ to climb a ladder to the top of the torch.  (Fees were used to help pay for the statue’s pedestal.)  
           
Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone was set up at opposite ends of one hall to show how voice could travel over wires.  Thomas Edison displayed his automatic telegraph system and electric pen. Visitors were introduced to new foods, including bananas, popcorn, and Heinz ketchup.           
           
Although the fair didn’t make much money, 10 million people attended.  It showed the world how the U.S. had grown industrially and commercially, helping to increase international trade. 
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U.S. #3-4
1875 Franklin and Washington
  • Official reproductions of the 1847 Issue of America’s First Postage Stamps
  • Set features the portraits of Benjamin Franklin – America’s first postmaster general and George Washington – America’s first president
  • Not valid for postage 
  • Extremely scarce
Stamp Category:  Official Reproductions
Set:  1875 Issue
Value:  Sold at face values of 5c (#3) and 10c (#4); Not valid for postage
Issue Date:  1875
First Day City:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                          
Note:  Some are of the opinion the stamps were sold only at the office of the Third Assistant Postmaster General in Washington, D.C.                                                              
Quantity Printed:  11,450(#3) and 10,000 (#4)                                                                    
Quantity Sold:  4,779 (#3) and 3,883 (#4)                                                                        
Printed by:  Bureau of Printing and Engraving from newly created dies                                                
Printing Method:  Engraving                                                                                   
Format:  
Panes of 50 subjects, 10 stamps across and five down                                                                   
Perforations:  Imperforate                                                                                                    
Color:  Red brown  
Paper:  Ungummed bluish wove paper
 
Why the stamps were issued:  The stamps were issued by order of the U.S. Post Office Department in conjunction with the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition.  Postal authorities hoped to sell all U.S. stamps at the Exhibition, even those no longer in use. 
 
About the stamp design: 
The portrait of Franklin, which originally appeared on the 1847 #1 US stamp, was based on a painting by James B. Longacre.  Longacre (1794-1869) was not only a portraitist, but also an engraver, becoming the fourth Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint.  The image of Washington, which appeared on the 1847 #2 US stamp, was based on an unfinished portrait of Washington by Gilbert Stuart.  According to the National Gallery of Art, Gilbert Stuart painted over 100 portraits of George Washington.       
 
Special design details:  Differences between the #3 and #4 reproductions and the originals:
 
The initials of the printers of the originals – RWH&E (Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson) – appear at the bottom of both reproductions, centered inside the frame line.  However, the initials are less distinct than on the original #1 and #2. 
 
The bottom of the right side of the “N” of “CENTS” comes to a point on both reproductions; on the originals, it is squared off.                                                                                                                                
U.S. #3:  On the 5c reproduction, the white ruffle on Franklin’s shirt connects with the oval frame more or less evenly with the top of the numeral “5”; on the original, it does so with the top of the “F” of the word “Five”.  Also, the bottom of the right side of the “N” comes to a point; on the original, it is squared off.
 
U.S. #4:  On the 10c reproduction, the left bottom edge of Washington’s coat touches the inner frame at the right tip of the numeral “X” and the right edge points to the center of the “S” in “CENTS”; on the original, the left side of the coat lines up with the “T” in “TEN”, and the right side between the “T” and “S” of “CENTS”. 
 
The line of Washington’s mouth is straight, while on the original, it curves upward.  And on the reproduction, Washington’s eyes have a sleepy look, as opposed to their more wide-eyed appearance on the original.  
 
About the printing process: 
 
U.S. #3 and 4 were printed by hand, which consisted of line engravingthe design onto the steel plate of a flat bed press.  The plate was inked and heated.  A sheet of damp paper was laid on the plate.  A heavy wooden or metal piece on the press, called a platen, was rolled over the plate, transferring the ink to the paper.  Each sheet was put aside to dry.  All the work was done manually, making for a slow process and only a few thousand stamps printed each day.  The early flat bed (or flat plate) press was called a “Spider” press. 
 
The original 5¢ Franklin (U.S. #1) and 10c Washington (U.S #2) were printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson.  The original plates and dies were thought to be destroyed, so new ones were created for these ungummed reproductions.  They were the first stamps printed by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.  New dies and plates were created in panes of 50 subjects. 
 
History the Stamps Represent:
 
Created for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition by order of the U.S. Post Office Department
On May 10, 1876, the first official World’s Fair in the United States was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Called the Centennial International Exhibition, the fair commemorated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
The goal of the U.S. Post Office Department was to display and sell every U.S. stamp at the exhibition, including those no longer in use.  However, there were no U.S. #1s or #2s to be found.  They’d been demonetized in 1851, and the remainders destroyed nearly 25 years earlier.  Even the printing plates had disappeared, likely destroyed.  What to do?  Create new plates and print new #1s and#2s, of course!
 
The Post Office Department ordered the new stamps from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, intending to sell them only as a set.  They would be the very first produced by the BEP.  So in addition to being reproductions of America’s first stamps, #3 and #4 represent yet another historic philatelic first.             
           
Most sources say the reproductions of U.S. #1 and #2 were actually sold at the 1876 Exhibition.  (At least one says they were only available from the office of the third assistant postmaster general in Washington, D.C.)  The envelope containing the set was labeled “One Set Specimen Postage Stamps Issue of 1847” and “Obsolete:  Not receivable for postages.”
 
Not realizing they had created philatelic rarities, the Post Office Department sold the reproductions as planned.  Observant collectors noticed subtle differences between them and the original stamps, and Scott gave them their own numbers.  
 
US #3 and #4 were issued in very small quantities.  And only 4,779 #3s and 3,883 #4s were sold.  Most of the unsold stamps were destroyed.  Who knows how many are left out there for collectors now?  One thing is for sure – not enough!  They’re so scarce we don’t even list them in Mystic’s U.S. Stamp Catalog.
                                                                                                                                                             
Top Nine Reasons Why You Should Add Scarce #3 and #4 to Your Collection:
  1. It’s like owning America’s First Stamps without the cost.
  2.  Great price...  Saves you thousands off Mystic’s price for mint U.S. #1 and #2. 
  3. Extremely scarce.  Stamps we’ve rarely ever seen at Mystic.   
  4. Low issue quantity and only a few thousand of each sold – the rest destroyed.  There aren’t nearly enough out there for collectors.  And that means you’ll be one of the lucky few to own them.  
  5. Fresh mint condition.  Vibrant color and clear impression even after 148 years. 
  6. Neat story – part of US and philatelic history… history you hold in your hands. 
  7. First Issues of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.
  8. Beautifully engraved with Old World precision… from the classic period of US stamps. 
  9. Very close in appearance to the originals.  It’s fun and exciting to discover the little differences.    
 
More about the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition:
Funding for the 1876 fair came from the city of Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania, and extensive fund raising.  New hotels were built and transportation improved to bring people to Philadelphia.  The 115-acre fairgrounds housed more than 200 buildings: five main buildings, and separate structures for state, federal, foreign, corporate, and public exhibits.  
           
The fair’s formal name was “The International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine.”  It was more commonly known as the Centennial Exhibition.   The fair opened on May 10, 1876, with the ringing of bells throughout Philadelphia.  President Ulysses S. Grant, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, and their wives participated in the opening ceremonies.  The first day, 186,272 people were in attendance.     
           
Visitors to the fair saw a number of new inventions, including sewing machines, typewriters, stoves, and air-powered tools.  Among the most popular exhibits were the world’s first monorail system, and the torch and arm of the Statue of Liberty.  Visitors paid 50¢ to climb a ladder to the top of the torch.  (Fees were used to help pay for the statue’s pedestal.)  
           
Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone was set up at opposite ends of one hall to show how voice could travel over wires.  Thomas Edison displayed his automatic telegraph system and electric pen. Visitors were introduced to new foods, including bananas, popcorn, and Heinz ketchup.           
           
Although the fair didn’t make much money, 10 million people attended.  It showed the world how the U.S. had grown industrially and commercially, helping to increase international trade.