1875 1¢ Franklin
1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Series
Earliest Known Use: July 25, 1881
Quantity sold: 3,195
Printed by: National Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
As the nation’s centennial approached, organizers began planning a grand celebration in Philadelphia. It would be the first World’s Fair to be held in the United States. To commemorate the event, the Post Office Department reproduced all US postal issues for display and sale at the Centennial Exhibition.
The Continental Bank Note Company, who at the time had the contract for printing US postage stamps, held the dies and some of the original plates of the 1861-66 series. Some originals had been destroyed, so new transfer rolls were made for the 1¢, 2¢, 10¢, and 12¢ denominations.
The National Bank Note Company produced the reprints in 1875. They are without grill, on hard white paper, and feature crackly white gum. The 1875 reprints can be distinguished from the originals by brighter colors, sharp proof-like impressions, and paper that is white rather than yellow. If it remains, the original gum is yellowed.
While the reprints were intended to make sure collectors could have the Series of 1861-66 represented in their collections, sales were poor. As a result, these reprints are much scarcer than the original 1861-66 postage stamps.