1881-82 1¢ Franklin
American Bank Note Printing
Earliest Known Use: November 2, 1881
Quantity issued: 2,202,470,800 (estimate)
Printed by: American Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
Color: Gray blue
In 1881, the American Bank Note Company decided some of the plates they were using had become too worn, and did not show enough clarity and detail. Plates for the 1¢, 3¢, 6¢, and 10¢ were re-engraved; various lines were deepened and certain features were sharpened.
The lines outside the medallion on the 1¢ Franklin were strengthened, causing the background of the stamp to appear almost solid. In addition, the ornaments in the upper corners were shaded.