30¢ Robert E. Lee
Issue Date: September 21, 1955
City: Norfolk, VA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary press dry printing
Perforations: 11 x 10.5
U.S. #1049 is the 30¢ Robert E. Lee stamp of the 1954-61 Liberty Series.
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. The experiment was a success, and all U.S. postage stamps have been printed by the dry method since the late 1950s.
Robert E. Lee (1807-70)
Confederate Civil War General
Robert Edward Lee is considered by many to be one of the greatest military minds in United States history. Lee first gained the recognition and praise of his superior officers during the Mexican War. At the outset of the Civil War, President Lincoln offered Lee command of all the Union armies. However, because of Lee’s loyalty to his home state of Virginia, he decided to join the Confederacy. Following the Civil War, Lee became the president of Washington College, in Lexington, Virginia.