1917-19 12¢ Franklin
As with other higher denomination stamps from this era, U.S. #512 was often used to pay the Parcel Post fee. There were numerous shades of the color, ranging from claret brown (“claret” is a deep, purplish red) to light copper red.
Flat Plate, Perf. 11
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing continued to use the 10 gauge perforation machines on flat plate stamp sheets even after 11 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.
Issue Date: May 1917
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Flat plate
Color: Claret brown