U.S. #499b- Imperforate Pair
1917-19 2¢ Washington
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing experimented with the master dies while producing the 2¢ Series of 1917-19 Washington. But the vast majority of stamps for this issue (U.S. #499) were printed on the regular master plates (Type I). They were produced in great quantities, as they fulfilled the domestic first class mail rate.
The Series of 1916-22 2¢ Washington Type I stamps had several distinguishing features: a pronounced white line underneath Washington’s ear, and the bottom two strands of hair behind his ear are shorter than the ones above it. Other features are often less distinct than found on Type II or Type III dies.
Flat Plate, Perf. 11
The Bureau continued to use the 10 gauge perforation machines on flat plate stamp sheets even after 11 gauge perf stamps proved successful. In an effort to save money, they used the perf. 10 wheels until they wore out. Beginning in early 1917, stamps produced on flat plate presses were given 11 gauge perfs.
That marked the beginning of the flat plate perforated 11 Series of 1917-19 stamps. Perf. 12 had proven too flimsy, and perf. 10 was too difficult to separate without damaging the stamp, so perf. 11 became a satisfactory solution.
2¢ Washington, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: March 1917
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Flat plate, using plates of 400 with four panes of 100