Series of 1851-57 1¢ Franklin
Earliest Known Use: June 18, 1852
Quantity issued: Unknown
Printed by: Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
Method: Flat plate
Types or varieties occur when a stamp has differences which vary from the way it was originally intended to be printed. These differences occur when the design is being transferred to the plate for printing or when lines are re-cut.
The design is engraved on a die – a small, flat piece of steel. The design is copied to a transfer roll – a blank roll of steel. Several impressions or “reliefs” are made on the roll. The reliefs are transferred to the plate – a large, flat piece of steel from which the stamps are printed. When the design is being transferred to the roll or plate, differences can occur. A damaged plate or foreign matter causes differences. Lines re-cut on a worn plate can result in double lines.
In an attempt to improve the Series of 1851-57 1¢ Franklin plate, the lines of Plate One were re-cut. At least 199 of the 200 subjects were worked on, with all of the re-cutting done by hand. As a result, no two positions are exactly alike.
The Series of 1851-57 1¢ Franklin Type IV
In 1851, Congress reduced postal rates. These new rates practically eliminated distance as a factor and created a need for new denominations. The 1¢ stamp was used on all mail up to 3 ounces and on “drop letters” which were mailed to the same town. The single letter rate, based on a half ounce, was changed to 3¢ for mail not over a distance of 3,000 miles. Mail exceeding this distance was lowered to 6¢. In 1855, the rate for letters over 3,000 miles changed to 10¢.
Prepayment was still optional. If postage was paid by the addressee upon receipt, the rate was higher. Due to increased collect rates, the use of postage stamps was greatly stimulated. In 1855, pre-payment was made compulsory.