Pictorial Series Introduced
On March 19, 1869, the first US Pictorial stamps were issued.
By early 1868, the then-current US definitive stamps had been in use for over six years and their printing plates were quite worn. Additionally, the Post Office’s contract with the National Bank Note Company was set to expire in February 1869. They requested bids for the contract to print new stamps and suggested that “there should be variety in the sizes as well as the designs of the stamps.”