Accompanying Fred Maltz report on the One Cent Franklin of 1861 the attached notes provide some additional information.
SOME NOTES ON THE ONE CENT 1861-1867 ISSUE STAMP
© Calvet M. Hahn 1996
Background: The 1861 issue was first discussed systematically by John Tiffany in his 1885 History of the Postage Stamps of the United States. It was followed by John Luff’s 1902 work on the same subject and by Lester Brookman’s 1947 volumes. Each amended and extended the information known. These works show the old 1851 Toppan Carpenter postage stamp contract was extended by four years on February 6, 1857 and was to expire June 10, 1861. Advertisements to solicit bids for a new six-year contract were placed in newspapers March 27, 1861 with bids to be presented by May first for a new contract to begin July 1, 1861.
There were three bidders. The Toppan Carpenter firm, which had held the old contract, and which had had several of its members leave to join the National Bank Note Company (NBNC) was one, but interest was already being focused on non-adhesive postage stamp work. The American Bank Note Company (AMNC) had compromised itself in the eyes of the new Republican administration by its solicitation of Confederate contracts. The third, and winning competitor, was the newly formed (1859) aggressive and nationalistic-minded National Bank Note Company whose bid was 12¢ per 1,000 stamps compared with the 18¢ of the old contract. The government, to differentiate the new issue from the preceding one where large stocks were supposedly held in the seceding states, called for new designs and colors.
A Post Office memorandum of May 10th notified the NBNC it had won the contract and reconfirmed the need to fulfill certain bidding requirements prior to the formal signing of the contract. Among these was the submission of ‘samples’ to an independent committee of experts who were to approve the stamp colors, designs, etc. The NBNC chose to meet this by submitting complete gummed and perforated sheets of ‘samples’ known as the premieres gravures. Apparently incomplete impressions of some values were available by April 30th for submission with the NBNC bid, but these were deemed insufficient to meet the bidding requirement.
On May 18th, NBNC reported it had not yet received its memorandum of understanding regarding the new contract. On the same day it reported it was moving to new premises at Number one Wall Street in New York and suggested different vignette subjects for the proposed 24¢ and 30¢ values. One June 15th, NBNC notified the POD that all the dies would be completed on the 19th and that transferring had been completed for the 10¢ and 90¢ values. This would refer to the gravure samples. A final and more complete version of the 24¢ (60Ebd) is dated in July. By mid-June it was clear the July 1st deadline for the new stamps would not be met and a new August 1st date was set. This deadline was also not met and on July 27th, at the Stamp Agent’s suggestion a deadline of August 15th was set. Stockpile printing was already underway by that date.
Premieres gravures—The gravure ‘samples’ were assigned dies 440-447 (although die numbered large die proofs were not made until late in the printing process.) Plates 1-8 were assigned in ascending value order. Using Elliott Perry’s estimate of 35-40 hours a plate, the transferring job probably took about fifteen working days so that the finished ‘samples’ would have been ready for approval around July 1st. The 1¢ vignette used for both the gravure and issued stamp was copied from a daguerreotype of Houdon’s bust of Franklin in New York’s Metropolitan Museum.
The 1861 issue was engraved under the design direction of James Macdonough, secretary of NBNC. As he noted on June 15th, key personnel were hired from Toppan Carpenter. Three engravers made the vignettes. Joseph Pease, hired from Toppan Carpenter, did the 1, 30 and 90¢ values. Joseph Ourdan engraved the 3¢, while William E. Marshall was responsible fore the 5, 10, 12 and 24¢ vignettes. Cyrus Durand, a former Toppan Carpenter lathe border specialist worked on the frames of the 1, 3, 5, 12 and 24¢ values, while lettering specialist William D. Nichols, worked on the 3, 5, 10, 24, 30 and 90¢. Daniel Cooper engraved the 10¢ frame.
The 30 and 24¢ values were the last gravures completed; this occurred early in July after the 24¢ 60Ebc essay was finished. Both plates used the wider spacing needed for good perforation and were used unchanged to print the issued stamps. In a series of letters in July through September 1941, Karl Burroughs, Clarence Brazer, Stanley Ashbrook and Elliott Perry determined that there were two dies for the 30¢ and three to four for the 24¢ and that the gravure plates were reentered prior to printing the gravures. In a note of September 19, 1941, Perry concluded that Brazer’s Die II was the original 24¢ die, that a laydown was taken from it and touched up to create Brazer’s Die I, which was not satisfactory so that it was again touched up to create Brazer’s Die III. No transfer roll was made from this. Die II was then hardened and used to make the transfer roll and plate of the 24¢. A single relief transfer roll was used for all the 1861 values. The 24¢ plate was reentered prior to hardening, and probably was never hardened; it shows numerous double transfers. A substantial portion of the reentered proof plate was plated at the time, but not all markings show on the issued stamps.
It is probable that the next plates transferred were the 10¢ and 90¢ as minimal changes were made on the dies. The 10¢ had a heavy colored line added under the stars, which was extended under the left and right ornaments. An extra frame was added at the top and the right border strengthened. On the 90¢, additional lines were added to make the lower left leaf corner stand out, while a light dashed set of lines were added into the top white border triangle over ‘POST.’ The usual defining dot of color at the apex of this triangle is known on a gravure imperforate in dull blue (Ivy, Mader lot 356, May 22-24, 1992.)
The 1, 3 and 5¢ had design changes made in the vignette as well as the frame. The 1¢ shows indications that the mouth line was strengthened, the 5¢ had additional lines added in the hair over Jefferson’s forehead, while the 3¢ vignette needed more substantial changes such as a greater chin definition, an enhanced neck line and a more subdued nostril.
Only shading additions were made to the corners of the 1¢ and the U.S. portions so that it was probably the next completed, as these were minimal. The 3, 5 and 12¢ had corner ornaments added to square off the image, making the stamps more rectangular. The 3¢ transfers were probably the last made.
In addition to the changes needed on the plates for better perforation, Stanley Ashbrook forcefully argued that a key reason for shifting from the gravure designs to the issued ones was that the former were not government property as required. The argument seems specious in light of the fact that both designs were produced after contract notification (May 10th) and prior to the formal signing of the contract on November 5, 1861. Both of the design sets had the same degree of legality. As Perry wrote Ashbrook on March 26, 1942, after reviewing the latter’s gravure article,
“I don’t believe government supervision is the key to the puzzle.”
Perry expanded on the causes for the revisions in his May 1945 Pat Paragraphs, where he stated,
”The alterations were not made because the designs were incomplete, but because they were unsatisfactory.”
Aesthetically, most of the changes made the stamps appear more rectangular by strengthening the frames and corners. Other lesser changes sharpened up the shadings. The aesthetic appearance and the perforation layout appear to be adequate to explain the shift.
As might be expected from essays or samples, the gravures were printed in better, more strongly colored inks than the issued stamps. The paper was a very thin, transparent variety that cracks easily. The gum was a heavy grown variety. There is an unresolved question of whether the gravure plates wee hardened. If they were, an additional reason for redesign is found, for it was expensive to decarbonate and reenter hardened plates as the Perkins Bacon Records testify (Vol. 1, page 396.)
PLATE SEQUENCE OF 1861 NATIONAL CONTRACT
Plate Value Notes
1 1¢ Gravure
2 3 Gravure
3 5 Gravure
4 10 Gravure
5 12 Gravure
6 24 Gravure; last gravures made; not modified for
issued stamps or reprints
7 30 Gravure, last gravures made; not modified for
issued stamps or reprints
8 90 Gravure
9-10 1¢ Issued First issued; 9 with flaw; 10 known grilled
11-14 3 11 and 14 grilled
15 10 Grilled; TAG reentry by 11/14/63
16 12 Grilled
17 5 Grilled; Dot UR oval next to 5 until grilled
18 90 Grilled (Known on order #1)
22 1¢ Probably put in production during 1Q of 1862
25 1¢ Replaced plate 9, which cracked in 1862
26 10¢ Pre-August 1863; probably spring
27 1¢ Grilled
28 2¢ Blackjack out by 7/1/63
29-31 2¢ 29-30 known grilled
32-35 3¢ 35 known printed on both sides
36-37 3¢ 36 known grilled
38 5¢ N/P By 9/30/65
39 10¢ N/P By 9/30/65
40 25¢ N/P By 9/30/65
41 15¢ Lincoln By 4/14/56; First Commemorative
42-49 3¢ 44 is the Ackerman sheet
50-51 2¢ Blackjack Grilled; new design no dot at top
52 3¢ Grilled
53 2¢ Blackjack Star on cheek
56 1¢ Reprint
57 2¢ Blackjack Reprint; star on cheek
58 5¢ Reprint No dot UR 5 margin
59 10¢ Reprint
60 12¢ Reprint
Source: Luff 1902 Edition; Perry Pat Paragraphs
Note all issued stamps through the 90¢ were included on Order #1 date August 16, 1861. Plates 6 and 7 were the last gravures made and they were not modified when used for the issued stamps. The 15¢ through 90¢ plates were used to make reprints in 1875.
Issued stamps—Only the wide-spaced gravure plates 6 and 7 (24¢ and 30¢) were regularly used to print the issued stamps. The 10¢ gravure plate was briefly used for the issued stamp (Scott 62B), apparently by error but possibly because a large quantity of stamps was briefly needed and one plate was insufficient. The stamp is first recorded used September 17, 1861 (a Payen correspondence letter from New York to France that is ex-Herzog) and Perry in a letter to Jerome Wagshal dated May 12, 1969 noted that about 1,000 sheets of 62B got out. the only delivery where such a quantity was involved is order #6, delivered August 24th.
The issued stamp plates begin with number 9 and were numbered in order of anticipated need with the 1¢ (plates 9-10) and 3¢ (plates 11-14) being the first into production. All the issued stamps came from single-entry transfer rolls, unlike the 1851-1857 issue, and all values went to press well before the first order of August 16, 1861 was delivered, for a large stock of lower value stamps was needed and all values were released in order #1. There was great pressure to get adequate supplies of both the 1¢ and 3¢ values into the hands of the public, and for several weeks following August 16th, two shifts were used (normal shifts were 12 hours each at the time.) There were six steam presses (used for the six 3¢ and 1¢ plates) and three hand presses (used for the other values).
Table I shows the assigned plate sequence throughout the 1861 contract, with the gravures making up the first eight plates. The first eighteen plates were ready, and probably sent to press prior to August 16, 1861.
Table II shows the first 97 orders, and the 1¢ stamps involved, that went to the Stamp Agent during 1861. It took about an additional week to reach the post offices. This shows that almost 26-million 1¢ stamps were issued in 1861. The figures are significant for only two plates #9 and #10, were involved and these are identifiable because plate 9 had a dot in the ‘U’ of ‘U.S.’ that was consistent throughout the plate’s use. While not printed on the very thin transparent paper of the gravures, the 1861 production was apparently all printed on comparatively thin translucent paper. It measured about .70-.75 mm compared with the very thin gravure paper, which measured about .65-70 mm. Beginning in early January 1862, a thicker paper stock became standard. It measured about .80-.85 mm. While 1¢ paper measurements have not been published there is no reason to assume a different stock was used to print this value. A conclusion is that we can identify on and off cover plate 9 and 10 examples of the 1¢ value by a combination of paper thickness and the plate #9 secret mark. On cover stamps dated in 1861 are either plates 9 or 10 and can be differentiated by the plate 9 secret mark. Off-cover stamps can be told first by the thin, translucent paper and then by the plate 9 secret mark.
Most of the 1861 issue plates were used unhardened; the production quantities did not require hardening. However, this restriction did not apply to the 3¢ or the 1¢ values, both of which were anticipated to be used in large quantities during the contract. In general this meat new plates, when plate wear became significant or when a plate suffered serious damage, for reentering a hardened plate was expensive. It is not clear what the case was with the 2¢ Blackjack plates, for there was very heavy production yet numerous reentries are known. Reentries or double transfers are rare on the 1¢ plates.
Two characteristics of the 1861 printings found in Table II are the thin paper and color experimentation. As Bernard Biales has demonstrated, banknote period inks were produced in batches roughly equal to a week’s anticipated production. While mixing, or lack of adequate stirring, might generate different shades from the same ink batch, a more typical cause of differences was a slightly different batch formula used intentionally or otherwise. For the gravure samples, rich colors were used just as in printing proofs where more expensive ingredients might be found. The 1¢ gravures were indigo and ultramarine, both rare shades when found on the issued stamps.
During the build up of stamp stock prior to August 16, 1861 different colors were used for the 3, 5 and 24¢ values. In fact, the 3¢ colors were still in an experimental stage on July 27th, according to an NBNC memorandum. The first shades of the 3, 5 and 24¢ are found on delivery orders 1-18, with a second set of shades in deliveries 18-24. A third set of shades make up the remaining 1861 orders with a new shade series being found early in 1862. The initial pre-August 16th 1¢ was a blue shade, but there is no reason to believe that there was not some color experimentation about the same time as occurred on the three problem values. No color calendar has been published for the 1¢, but the shift between blue, pale blue and dark blues—all known in 1861 –probably fits the patter of the 3, 5 and 24¢ value shifts.
Only plates 9 and 10 were used to print the 1¢ value during 1861. Inasmuch as plate 9 has the dot in U (secret mark), it is possible to identify which plate produced stamps used during 1861 by the dot in U and paper thickness. Undated 1861 uses can be identified in this manner. There is some reason to believe only plate 9 stamps were used in order #1. The earliest use, off cover, of a 1¢ stamp is a plate 9 example postmarked at Baltimore MD August 17, 1861. It sold as lot 37 in the May 30, 1996 Lawrence Fisher holding at Shreve’s Action Gallery. There are apparently four on-cover examples known postmarked August 21st. One is a strip of three from Pittsburgh to Huntington, PA and was lot 38 in the Fisher sale while a second was from Philadelphia found alongside a 3¢ rose addressed to Academia, PA and was lot 39 in that same sale. All are plate 9 examples.
Plate 10 was distributed in August 1861. We know there was a perforation problem connected with this plate during the fall of 1861. A drop letter cover from Chicago, postmarked October 23rd sold at Christies. It bears a horizontally imperforate plate 10 single in a purplish blue shade (V9-24) in the Philatelic Foundation’s Color in Philately charts (8PB5.1/99.2 in Munsell notation or ISCC-N3S chip 196 spB.) The stamp is tied by a CHICAGO/OCT/23 /ILLS circular date stamp (cds) that is not known used after July 9, 1862 so the cover can be dated to October 1861, which is confirmed by the thin paper upon which the stamp is printed. The date of the shift from the regular blue of Order #1 matches color shifts found on other 1861 values.
DELIVERIES OF 1¢ VALUE DURING 1861
Order # Date Quantity Order # Date Quantity
1 8/16 1,632,000 53 11/1 98,100
2 8/17 620,500 54 11/2 81,000
3 8/20 368,000 55 11/4 132,700
4 8/22 14,000 56 11/5 108,200
5 8/24 345,000 57 11/6 678,800
6 8/24 227,800 58 11/7 104,100
7 8/28 705,000 59 11/6 46,500
8 8/29 497,000 60 11/9 74,900
9 8/31 180,400 61 11/11 24,400
Special 8/31 140,000 62 11/11 67,400
AUGUST Total 4,729,700 63 11/12 152,600
10 9/3 829,500 64 11/13 120,600
11 9/4 320,000 65 11/14 36,200
12 9/5 206,000 66 11/15 42,400
13 9/7 362,000 67 11/16 432,400
14 9/11 1,290,000 68 11/18 108,400
15 9/13 261,000 69 11/18 137,600
16 9/14 386,600 70 11/20 46,100
17 9/16 434,300 71 11/21 17,500
18 9/18 152,700 72 11/22 116,400
19 9/20 172,100 73 11/23 54,000
20 9/21 107,400 74 11/25 44,100
21 9/23 279,500 75 11/27 128,600
22 9/25 540,700 76 11/27 78,500
23 9/26 179,400 77 11/29 36,900
24 9/27 187,500 NOVEMBER Total 2,964,800
24 Special 9/30 164,500 78 12/2 838,400
SEPTEMBER Total 5,873,200 79 12/2 66,100
25 10/1 305,100 80 12/3 55,100
26 10/2 386,700 81 12/4 399,400
27 10,3 203,800 82 12/5 238,600
28 10/4 553,700 83 12/6 85,900
29 10/5 148,800 84 12/9 100,200
30 10/7 188,900 85 12/9 417,300
31 10/7 443,000 86 12/10 102,200
32 10/8 309,200 87 12/11 106,600
33 10/9 271,400 88 12/12 21,100
34 10/10 410,100 89 12/13 62,600
35 10/11 906,300 90 12/14 57,000
36 10/12 552,300 91 12/16 119,500
37 10/14 447,200 92 12/17 49,500
38 10/15 331,900 93 12/18 330,300
39 10/16 289,700 94 12/19 126,400
40 10/17 239,200 95 12/20 148,900
41 10/19 344,700 96 12/21 416,800
42 10.19 442,600 97 12,23 96,700
43 10/21 176,000 DECEMBER TOTAL 3,838,500
44 10/22 252,700 1861 TOTAL 25,947,200
45 10/22 225,600
46 10/24 210,700
47 10/25 185,700
48 10/26 132,800
49 10/26 288,600
50 10/29 180,200
51 10/29 104,100
52 10/31 119,900
OCTOBER TOTAL 8,541,000
Source: Pat Paragraphs
Production—As noted, the 1861 plates were entered with a single relief roll. Most were unhardened. Reentry was made only in cases where wear was apparent. The TAG flaws on the 10¢ plate 15 late show that not all positions were reentered. It is interesting to note that about the time this plate was reentered, plate 26 of the 10¢ was made. William Weismann in his Chronicle #86 (2/75) article notes that not all positions were reentered on the Caspary block of 18. Dos Passos reports the earliest TAG 10¢ he recorded was on a cover dated November 14, 1863. In the Patrick Henry sale there appear to be two earlier examples, lot 184 dated October 17, 1863 and lot 182 dated August 22, 1863. Adding up the 10¢ sheets issued through March 31, 1863 shows 43,350—a figure higher than indicated for reentry according to the 25,000 impression prior to retouching reported by Rawdon Wright Hatch and Edson (pg. 228 in Boggs’ Postage Stamps and Postal History of Canada) or the need for ‘retouching every three days allowing 50,000 impressions before retouching charges” reported by Joseph Carpenter (pg. 335-336 Boston Revenue Book) or the estimated 50,000 impressions transferred from a hardened die reported in letters of 8/30/55 and ‘from 50,000 down to 20,000’ on 12/12/56 in the Perkins Bacon records cited above. As the 1¢ 1861 plates seem to have been hardened in order to produce the quantity they did, this limit would not apply to them.
The Table III record of 1¢ stamps issued quarterly shows that a substantial jump in shipments occurred during the third quarter of 1862. The six steam presses known to exist in 1861 were used to print the 1 and 3¢ values. Working two shifts during August 1861, each press accounted for about 833 sheets a working day or a bit over 400 sheets per shift. In December 1861, about 384 sheets per press were shipped. However, during the first quarter of 1862, the known 1¢ shipments required production of about 505 sheets a press (or plate) indicating either that a second shift or additional presses were involved. An additional press means an additional plate. During the 3rd quarter of 1862, almost 100,000 sheets were shipped. With two plates only (or presses), this meant each press had to produce about 625 sheets per working shift. With three presses the total would be about 418 sheets a shift. I would conclude from this that an additional press was added during the first quarter of 1862. This would also date when plate 22 went to press as the third working plate.
Reverting to the Table I plate number assignments, it can be seen three new 1¢ plates (plates 22, 25 and 27) were put into production before the first Black Jacks were shipped in July 1863. One was a replacement for plate #9, which developed a large crack during 1862 as evidenced by the 1862 cover addressed to Carrollton, Ill. with a cracked plate example. I don’t record its date, however, plate 9 stamps are no longer found on cover after about the first quarter of 1863 so production would have ceased sometime during 1862. The date sequence seems to suggest that the little used plate 25 was the replacement.
Both plates 22 and 27 are known on grilled stamps with the latter being introduced just after a second 10¢ plate (#26); and prior to the Blackjacks, e.g. in the spring of 1863. Plate 25 seems to have been little used and I have no record of it being used for grilled stamps. It seems to have been the replacement for the damaged plater 9. For the remainder of the 1861 contract there were apparently four plates of which only three are known used for grilled stamp production (#10, 22 and 27).
One-Cent Stamps Issued 1862-1869
Quarter Ending: Issued Quarter Ending: Ungrilled Grilled
3/31/62 15,346,850 3/31/68 2,284,600 1,489,800
6//30/62 14,165,800 6/39/68 — 3,219,800
9/30/62 19,810,000 9/30/68 — 2,814,600
12/31/62 ` 13,563,700 12/31/68 — 3,004,200
YEAR 1862 62,886,350 YEAR 1868 2,284,600 l0,528,400
3/31/63 18,986,300 3/31/69 — 3,351,200
6/30/63 16,494,000 6/30/69 — 475,300
9/30/63 959,900 YEAR 1869 3,826,500
YEAR 1863 36,930,000
3/31/64 289,100 TOTAL ISSUED
6/30/64 356,600 1861 25,747,200
9/30/64 345,300 1862 62,886,350
12,31/64 462,700 1863 36,930,900
YEAR 1864 1,453,700 1864 1,453,700
3/31/65 175,200 1865 4,525,700
6/30/65 1,137,600 1866 7,843,800
9/30/65 1,944,000 1867 10,333,000
12/31/65 1,268,900 1868 2,284,600 10,528,400
YEAR 1865 4,525,700 1869 — 3,626,500
3/31/66 2,264,300 TOTAL ISSUED 152,205,250 14,354,900
YEAR 1866 7,843,800
YEAR 1867 10,333,000
Color—Many stamps are cataloged by color making color and important component of philately. Among the 1861 1¢ stamps there are two recognized rare shades, the ultramarine and the indigo. The more common accepted colors are pale blue, blue, bright blue, deep blue and dark blue. These are illustrated in Roy White’s Encyclopaedia of Colors. The blue in 1861 could come from the indigo vegetable dye (synthetic indigo was not being commercially available until the 1890s) or from minerals.
Prussian or iron blue was a leading mineral blue dye of the period. It is a ferric ferrocynide and was used to print the 90¢ blue of 1860. Some iron blue stamps show a greenish tinge. The second major mineral blue is lapis lazuli (a sodium/aluminate silicate containing sulphur). Somewhat variable, it yields ultramarine shades, so named because their source mineral came from overseas originally. Artificial ultramarine dye processes were developed in the late 1820s. The modern alkali blues were not available in the 1860s; they developed out of the synthetic aniline blue first produced in 1861, but not used for stamps for some years.
The 1¢ 1861 stamps were printed using a combination of Prussian blue and ultramarine dyes, with the brighter ultramarine shades having only small quantities of the iron blue colorant. Ultramarine printing inks normally give a reddish or purplish hue, which can be greatly reduced by adding zinc white, a common filler. Those 1¢ Franklins showing a reddish hue have larger proportions of ultramarine ink. A natural degradation of ultramarine inks is caused by acid, either in the ink or paper; it creates a grayish blue shade, countered by the printer by the addition of zinc white. It must be remembered that banknote era dies are missed in ‘weekly batches’ and that this is one cause of color variance; a second is the failure to properly stir or mix the batch before using.
White’s Color Encyclopaedia illustrated four 1¢ blue shades; these can be matched to the color charts of his Color in Philately and the Munsell list. None are plate #9. William Herzog, a major 1861 student, in his sale at Frajola had a number of dated covers noting shades that help give date ranges to the colors. White’s pale blue is V9-13 (Munsell 9PB 5.3/7.7) which Herzog shows on covers of 9/28/61, 6/16/63 and 2/14/65. White’sstandard blue is V8-14 (Munsell 9PB 5.3/8.9), which Herzog shows used on 831/61 and 9/20/61 as well as during February and March of 1862 and December 1862 as well as December 9, 1863. White’s bright blueshade is V10-12 (Munsell 9PB 4.8/7.9), which Herzog had on a 9/2/66 cover. Herzog also had a deep bright blue on a cover postmarked 6/21/63 and a marine blue example dated 5/1/62.
In Chronicle #54 (2/67), Elliott Perry noted that ultramarine was a color used for a number of stamps including the 1¢ Franklin and 1860 revenues. He added that the 1¢ ultramarine shades were considered fairly common early this past century, but are scarce today. The grayish ultramarine usually found on the revenues he felt was most closely matched by a 1¢ Franklin on a cover postmarked at Portland, ME. March 8, 1863. As of 1980, Herzog noted the Philatelic Foundation had only certified one used (ex-Herzog) and one unused 1¢ ultramarine. Richard Drews and Herzog checked the used example against the ISCC-NBS chips and felt it most closely matched #182. I find ISCC-NBC chip #195 most closely fits the ultramarines illustrated by White, three of which are plate #9, indicating production in 1861-2. All have a reddish or purplish hue. While the Herzog sale did not have any ultramarine 1¢ on cover, in a series of subsequent sales Richard Frajola offered a series of over 25 ultramarine 1¢ covers without specifying ultramarine shades. The earliest was an odd-ball example dated at Baltimore 8/27/61, but most dated from mid-1862 through September 1863, with the normal late uses.
White’s Encyclopaedia illustrates five ultramarine shades, all in the bluish purple family with three being plate #9. His light ultramarine is a bluish purple V8-14 (Munsell 9PB 5.3/8.9). His two regular ultramarineexamples are V9-24 (Munsell 8PB 5.8/9.2) while a more brilliant shade, the deep ultramarine was V9-35 (Munsell 8PB 5./10.4). His dark ultramarine is closest to V 11-24 (Munsell 8PB 4.6/9.7). In the accompanying text, White notes that arsenic used as a rodenticide in the paper mills of the period, discolors the ultramarine pigments darkening them. He adds that the two darkest shades he illustrated, the indigo and dark blue, show traces of arsenic.
Herzog reported, in a follow-up to the Perry article, that the Philatelic Foundation had not certified any indigo example because their experts felt any issued example had to match the indigo of the gravures. In his 1992 and 1994 Rarities sales, R. A. Siegel offered two gravure indigo examples with what appears to be a test cancel.
White’s Encyclopaedia shows an indigo that was V10-16 (Munsell 9PB 4.3/11.1) while his other dark shade was a dark blue which was a strong purplish blue V10-14 (10PB 4.6/9.5). In the Herzog sale there was an off cover light indigo with a July 7th date and an indigo with a Philadelphia date of March or May. He also had a pale indigo on a Hartford, CT circular with an indistinct -/16 date. Lester Brookman illustrated an indigo from Philadelphia with a 10/3 postmark as well as a New York City carrier with a 1¢ indigo with a 3¢ envelope used to Philadelphia 6/20. Louis Grunin, Foundation Chairman, had two 1¢ Franklins on his indigo page. One was an ex-Emerson cover postmarked at Philadelphia August 18, 1863 and addressed to Norfolk, VA that was described as deep blue when sold as lot 9 in the Sotheby sale (10/30/79). The other was postmarked Saxonville, MS September 12 (1868) and sold as lot 5 in the same Sotheby sale. An early dark blue with a Philadelphia Penny Post strike is known dated 4/19/62, while Herzog had three dark blue covers. These were postmarked in September 1862 and early in December 1863.
In 1995 a report on the 24¢ 1861 shades was present to the New York Classics study group. It pointed out that the comparable color shifts between the 24, 3 and 5¢ 1861 values occurred at about the same time. The 1¢ 1861 printings show a similar pattern. The 9/28/61 pale blue matches the 3¢ carmine rose, 5¢ olive yellow and 24¢ slate. The April 19, 1862 dark blue is similar to the shift of the deep rose and brown red 3¢, 5¢ red brown and the dark red lilac 24¢. The 1¢ blue of around 8/31 matches the deep pinks of the 3¢ (9/14), the brown yellow 5¢ (8/21) and the purple violet 24¢ (9/17). The ultramarines of mid-1862 seem to correspond to the red rose 3¢, the dark red brown 5¢ and gray lilac 24¢, while the deep bright blue and Perry’s ultramarine of 3/8/63 match the 3¢ clarets, 5¢ yellow chocolate and 24¢ bright red violet, with the later 1863 shades of deep blue and indigo seemingly matched by the brown black 5¢0 (7/18/63), and the gray lilac 24¢ (8/11/63) as well as the red violet Cincinnati violets. Work still needs to be done on lining up the 1¢ shade changes, but the other values suggest approximate time periods.
In the fall of 1861, examples on horizontal and vertical laid paper were released. The are scarce. The Clarence Eagle collection had a block of three while there are known blocks that are larger.
Grills and Other Anti-reuse Experiments—Beginning in the late 1850s, the Post Office became concerned with possible stamp reuse, and a search for preventive measures began that involved the 1861 issue, including the 1¢ Franklin. The earliest approach was scarification cancels, with the Norton patent versions being the most successful; at the same time there was the Morrison/Leads envelope lattice experiments of 1861-2. In 1863 printing paper experiments began with printing papers such as Lowenberg’s printing on starch papers and his later 1866 patents for decal printing. In 1864, Gibson developed the first overprinting stamp patents, best known in philately on the 1869 essays. In 1866 NBNC’s Macdonough was granted a fugitive ink patent while Wyckoff got one too. Bowlsby created a 1¢ coupon essay. Even explosive stamps were tried. In the 1869 American Journal of Philately, 33 patents were listed. However, the winner of the patent sweepstakes was Charles Steel and his grills.
Steel started with Toppan Carpenter, moved to the NBNC where he was Supervisor of Printing, and then in 1873 he went on to Continental. He first proposed a grill to the Post Office in late 1865 but it wasn’t until his grill idea was used by Postmaster General Alexander Randall to justify renewing the NBNC contract in 1867 at a higher price than competitors that it became important.
The Stamp Mercury of November 1867 give the first philatelic grill report. However, from Tiffany (1885) Scott (1890), Luff (1896), Stevenson (1916) and Brookman (1941) there were warnings of numbers of counterfeit grills. The 1¢ Franklin is known with an 1867 ‘music box’ essay grill; it is not known with the issued A-grill test of 1867. Both a points-down and a points-up C grill are recorded with an example sold as lot 372 in the Worthington sale and again in the Country Gentlemen sale at Siegel’s (lot 146 in sale 11/28/72). When most recently sold at Christies, this C-grill was termed an essay. It is known that Bowlsby coupon 1¢ Franklins received C-grills. No D-grill is recorded but there are two examples of a 1¢ Z-grill, both apparently ex-Stevenson. One in the Miller collection is on thick paper and has a circular grid killer while the other, ex-William Schilling, is a double grill with a Philadelphia cds that was reported last used in 1864. Z-grills are known from early January 1868 and were apparently replaced by the E-grills by February 10th of that year. On the 2¢ and 3¢ values, the grill is quite sharp. A number of rare Z-grills are the subject of some controversy as are those on the one cent.
The blue 1¢ Franklin is known in blue and dull blue with the E-grill. The earliest known use is March 9, 1868, from Lawrence Kansas, ex-Herzog, now in the Berkun holding. The E-grills were replaced by the F-grill, a cut down version, in time for early uses in mid-March 1868. Both the E and F 1¢ grills are known on regular and tin paper. The F-grill is known in light blue, blue and a dark blue approaching indigo. The earliest (EKU) is on a Danville, N.Y. cover dated August 11, 1868 in the Berkun holding, although Ed Siskin’s records show a March 19, 1868 example, which is a possible date.
As indicated in Table III, 1.5-moillion one cent stamps were issued during the first quarter of 1868, the only quarter when the E-grill would have been available from the stamp agent considering the shift to F-grills in mid-March 1868. This is the maximum number of E-grills possible. The likelihood is that the quantity was smaller, about two-thirds or slightly under 1-million. This would leave the F-grill for the remainder or about 13-million. These figure are different from Brookman who does not account for about one-third of the 1¢ grills.
Uses—The basic use of the 1¢ blue Franklin is for carrier pickup, circulars and transient mail, as well as drop letters. Only the largest cities had an operating carrier service with boxes so that prepayment could be handled for letters to the mails or intracity. Prepayment of carrier delivery from the mails was not possible although such delivery (un-prepaid) had been part of the postal system since colonial days. Attempts to prepay delivery were as the government notices noted in 1862 ‘simply thrown away.’ The introduction of the 2¢ Blackjack July 1, 186 eliminated a major use for the 1¢ Franklin as reflected in the issuance statistics of Table III.
The circular and transient printed matter mail such as prices current or private mailing of newspapers is among the most ephemeral of philatelic materials. Consequently, it is among the hardest to document with dated covers. There was a rate change from 1¢ per circular (up to 3 ounces) when the Franklin was issued to a 2¢ rate on July 1, 1863, (along with the Blackjack introduction) which greatly reduced the need for the Franklin thereafter.
The drop rate was also change July 1, 1863 from one to two cents, with free delivery where carrier service was available. A small new demand for the one cent stamp began May 1865 when the 2¢ drop fee was reduced to 1¢ for cities not having carrier delivery..
Almost all other uses of the 1¢ Franklin were made up either with multiples used to prepay first class rates or to make up part of rates or fees on covers. There was a demand, but not a big one, for the one cent stamp for these purposes.
Catalog changes—As with the other 1861 values, the printings during 1861 were on thin paper, and need differentiation from the later printings on normal paper. Two plates were used, plate 9 with the dot in U and plate 10. As with the catalog distinctions made for the 1861 printings of the 3, 5 and 24¢ distinction is needed for the 1¢. So far the pale blue and blue have been identified.
Beginning in early 1862, the 3, 5 and 24¢ were on normal paper and had specific color differences. The 1¢is known on normal paper in both the blue and pale blue with both plates 9 and 10 and then with plate 25 substituting for plate 9, in ultramarine and dark blue with 1863 printings in deep blue and indigo. Each should be major numbers.
For the F-grill, each of the shades (blue, pale blue, and dark blue) should be given sub-numbers, with all three noted on very thin paper. It is probable that a careful date sequencing of covers will show other parallels with the other 1861 values and yield EKUs, but until the catalogs reflect the possibility no one will look. This has been a major flaw of Scott cataloging since the detailed work of Luff ended