10¢ Independence Hall
Issue Date: July 4, 1956
City: Philadelphia, PA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10½ x 11
Color: Rose lake
U.S. #1044, picturing Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, was planned to be the last issue of the Liberty series, but eight more stamps were later added.
Independence Hall – the Old State House
Independence Hall, also known as the Old State House, is the most famous building in the historic city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In fact, it can be considered the birthplace of the United States of America, as it has been the stage for many of the most important events in American history. It was constructed between 1732 and 1756, and has been restored several times to preserve its late-18th century appearance and style.
The list of historic events that occurred in Independence Hall is amazing. The Second Continental Congress met there in May 1775, and chose George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental Army. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in the Hall. In 1777, the design of the American Flag was agreed upon in the Hall. The Articles of Confederation were signed there in 1781. The United States Constitution was drafted within Independence Hall, and signed on September 17, 1787.
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.