1857 1¢ Franklin
Series of 1857-1861
Earliest Known Use: July 26, 1857
Quantity Issued: Unknown
Printed by: Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
Printing Method: Flat plate
In his book The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851 to 1861, Mortimer Neinken wrote, “The Type 1a is a very scarce stamp, either imperforate or perforated…” U.S. #19 is a Type 1a stamp.
U.S. #19 was printed by Toppan, Carpenter, and Company using the same designs as the 1851-1857 stamps. Because the new issues were perforated, wider margins were necessary so a new plate (#4) was made. Of the 200 stamps on the plate, only 18 positions produced the Type 1a stamp. These stamps made up the bottom row of the plate. (Two stamps on the bottom row are a different type.)
In addition, plate 4 was not used for long. Neinken believes it was only in use from early April to late December of 1857.
Type 1a stamps can be identified by looking at the top and bottom ornaments on the frame. The bottom ornaments are complete, but the top ornaments are cut away, as well as the other curved frame lines.