Series of 1857-61 1¢ Franklin
Earliest Known Use: July 25, 1857
Quantity issued: Unknown
Printed by: Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
Printing Method: Flat plate
When the world’s first postage stamps were released, no provision was made for separating the stamps from one another. Post office clerks and stamp users merely cut these “imperforates” apart with scissors or tore them along the edge of a metal ruler. A device was needed which would separate the stamps more easily and accurately.
The 1857-61 issues were the first perforated U.S. stamps. Their designs were reproduced from the imperforate plates of 1851. Because the same plates were used, the perforate stamp types don’t differ much from the corresponding imperforate stamps. The entire series (U.S. #18-39) is noted for having narrow margins.
The 1¢ Franklin Type IV stamp came about as the plate was recut.