Benjamin Franklin (biography)

1¢ - Green
Triangles in Corner
Double line USPS wmk
Scott #279 - 1898

Value
Used: a few cents
No postmark with gum (MH): $4-$6
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $5-$12

Issued: January 17th, 1898, earliest recorded example, January 31st 1898

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Quantity Issued: Five billion.

DETAILED FACTS AND FIGURES

The color was changed to green to conform with the Universal Postal Union Designation for the 1¢ value.

The Post Office report from 1899 supplies one with almost every detail you would wish to
know about this stamp, and every other stamp in this series. The level of detail is amazing.
Click here for more on this report.


A pane of 100 subjects (4 panes to a sheet of 100)

Around this time pre-canceled stamps appear, on this issue
they usually command a slight premium.

The design was taken from the portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin by Jean Antoine Houdon.
Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Previous versions of Franklins portrait (shown left) on the 1¢ stamp had Franklin face portray an alert friendly expression.
This was the principle reason that this design (shown right) was disliked by the general
public. The NY Times said that Franklin's face had 'entirely altered his expression and making him
resemble a putty-faced personification of senility'.


Previous versions of Franklins portrait on the 1¢ stamp had Franklin facing to the right. This,
along with the pale blue color were the principle reasons that this design was disliked by the general
public. The NY Times said that Franklin facing to the left 'entirely altered his expression and making him
resemble a putty-faced personification of senility'.

279-P2
Roosevelt small die plate proof