50¢ Susan B. Anthony
Issue Date: April 1958
City: Louisville, KY
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Bright purple
U.S. #1051 features an image of Susan B. Anthony based on a photograph from the Library of Congress. The stamp was issued exactly 50 years after the suffragette met with President Theodore Roosevelt to discuss an amendment giving women the right to vote.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)
Women’s Rights Pioneer
Born the daughter of a Quaker abolitionist in Adams, Massachusetts, Susan B. Anthony discovered at an early age the prejudice and discrimination that women were suffering. While working as a teacher in Seneca Falls, New York, Anthony experienced sexual discrimination first hand and was inspired to take a stand for women’s rights.
She helped form the first women’s state temperance society as well as many other organizations dedicated to women’s rights. Her work paved the way for the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which occurred in 1920.
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.