2¢ Thomas Jefferson
Issue Date: September 15, 1954
City: San Francisco, CA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Carmine rose
The image of Thomas Jefferson pictured on U.S. #1033 is based on a Gilbert Stuart painting that is now located in the Bowdoin College Museum of Fine Arts in Brunswick, Maine.
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most influential members of the Founding Fathers. Jefferson consistently advocated one of our nation’s most cherished principles. He championed the idea that humans are born with natural rights rather than those bestowed upon them by a government, and that governments govern only by the consent of the people.
A gifted intellect and political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment who embraced the age of science and reason. Jefferson served as America’s first Secretary of State and its second Vice-President before defeating John Adams in the 1800 presidential election.
After coming to office in the “Revolution of 1800,” Jefferson served two terms as the third U.S. President. His administration is credited with nearly doubling the size of the United States. Although he was not known for his public speaking abilities, modern historians regard Jefferson to be one of the most intelligent and accomplished of all U.S. Presidents.
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.