1906-08 1¢ Franklin
Issue Date: October 2, 1906
Quantity issued: 5,015,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Double line
Color: Blue green
Imperforate U.S. #314 was used primarily in vending machines. The stamps were printed in full sheets of 400 subjects, which were divided into panes of 100 by horizontal and vertical guide lines. These lines appeared on the private coils every 20 stamps.
The Imperforate Stamps of 1906-08
When the 1¢ Franklin and 2¢ Washington were first issued imperforate, a scheming young man took advantage of the situation. At the time the stamps were first released, they were available only in Chicago. Seizing the opportunity to “make a quick buck,” he told New York dealers that, according to a friend who worked for the Postal Department, these sheets were an error and only a few had gotten out. Eager to own a rare and valuable error, the dealers snatched up the sheets for $10 to $25 apiece!
When the sheets came out in New York a few days later, they knew they’d “been had.” The sheets, containing 100 stamps, sold for a mere $2. One dealer sold his copies for $2.00 a block, with the statement, “it might be a scarce item or perhaps become a regular issue.”
In 1908, an imperforate 5¢ Lincoln was issued. Both stamps were issued imperforate to be used in the newly developed vending machines, which required special perforations. Private manufacturers of the machines would purchase the imperforate stamps and then apply their own perforations.