1 1/2¢ Mount Vernon
Issue Date: February 22, 1956
City: Mount Vernon, VA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10½ x 11
Color: Brown carmine
U.S. #1032 features a reproduction of a photograph of Mount Vernon facing the Potomac River.
Located on the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon was George Washington’s plantation home in Virginia. Completed in 1743, the wooden neoclassical Georgian mansion was situated on 4,200 acres of land. Washington inherited the home upon the death of his brother and sister-in-law. Washington applied scientific methods to farming, and established one of the largest distilleries in the nation. George and Martha Washington are interred on the estate, which remained neutral ground for both sides during the Civil War. The structure (and a portion of the property) was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
The Liberty Series
Issued to replace the 1938 Presidential series, this patriotic set of stamps honors guardians of freedom throughout U.S. history. Eighteenth century America is represented by Revolutionary War heroes and statesmen such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Henry, Jay, and Revere.
Leaders of the 19th century including Monroe, Lincoln, Lee, Harrison, and Susan B. Anthony make an appearance. The 20th century is represented by Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and General Pershing.
The Liberty Series also features famous locations important to America’s democratic history, such as Bunker Hill, Independence Hall, and the Alamo.
“Wet” versus “Dry” Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began an experiment in 1954. In previous “wet” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 15 to 35 percent. In the experimental “dry” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 5 to 10 percent. This process required stiffer, thicker paper, special inks, and greater pressure to force the paper through the plates.
Stamps produced by dry printing can be distinguished by whiter paper and higher surface sheen. The stamps feel thicker and the designs are more pronounced than on wet printings. So the dry printing experiment was a success, and all U.S. postage stamps have been printed by this method since the late 1950s.