Regular Issue of 1898
One Cent - Benjamin Franklin
#279P2a Small Die Proof (right) was a small die proof produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for display by the Post Office Department at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915, in San Francisco, California.
The design Features Benjamin Franklin, who was among many other things one of the United State's founding fathers; a statesman, an inventor and our first Post Master General.
In 1898 the colors of many of the regularly issued stamps, the designs of 1894, were changed to conform with the colors assigned by the Universal Postal Union. The one cent stamp was changed to green in January. Scott's #264 is the design's original issue in blue.
Issues in this design are sometimes referred to as the "Baby Banknotes and Triangles"
The 1-cent Franklin stamp was first printed in 1894 in ultramarine on unwatermarked paper. Uneven inking of the plates and the moisture content of the paper at the time of printing resulted in many shades of the ultramarine color, so soon after the introduction of the 1-cent ultramarine, the color was changed to blue. Like its predecessor, the 1-cent blue is found in many shades, which are easily distinguishable from the ultramarine shades. A 1-cent stamp with triangles in ultramarine can be readily identified as the 1894 printing.
In 1895 the Bureau of Engraving and Printing used a watermarked paper for production this issue. Due to the same color the only way to differentiate between the 94 and 95 isses is by watermark. The watermark is positioned as such that at least a portion of one of the letters U, S, or P can found on every 1895 stamp.
To assist postal workers in all countries signatory to the Universal Postal Union in identifying stamps of equal postage value, the 1-cent stamp color was changed from blue to green in 1898. The Bureau continued printing the stamp on the same watermarked paper, however. The 1-cent stamp paid primarily the domestic third-class rate and the domestic postal card rate. It was also used in multiples or in combination with other stamps to pay other rates.
- Other Stamps of 1898 -
# 285-293 Trans-Mississippi Exposition Series of 1898
Photo Gallery - Photos of additional examples, conditions and variants of this stamp
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