1939 Presidential Series
Issue Date: January 20, 1939
First City: Washington, D.C.
Quantity Issued: 4,387,151,000 (total of both coil types)
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforation: 10 vertically
Color: Rose carmine
The first Vice-President, John Adams, went on to become our second President. During his term, the capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. He and Mrs. Adams were the first to live in the White House, which was partially complete when they moved in.
The 1938 Presidential Series was printed on rotary press and perforated 11 x 10.5. In 1939, the 1¢ to 10¢ denominations were issued as coil stamps with a 10 gauge perforations vertically. The 1¢ to 3¢ denominations were also issued with horizontal perforations.
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors.
The series was issued in response to public clamoring for a new Regular Issue series. The series that was current at the time had been in use for more than a decade. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed, and a contest was staged. The public was asked to submit original designs for a new series picturing all deceased U.S. Presidents. Over 1,100 sketches were submitted, many from veteran stamp collectors. Elaine Rawlinson, who had little knowledge of stamps, won the contest and collected the $500 prize. Rawlinson was the first stamp designer since the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began producing U.S. stamps who was not a government employee.