Serigraph Print of the
5-cent Benjamin Franklin
U. S. Postage Stamp
5-cent imperforate, Scott #1, and issued July 1,1847.
Design by James Parson Major, from a drawing by James B.Longacre, engraving by Asher B.Durand, and printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson.
The first stamp issue of the U.S. consisted of an engraved 5-cent red brown stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin (the first postmaster of the US), and a 10-cent value in black with George Washington.
The Act of Congress of March 3, 1845, established uniform postal rates throughout the nation, with a uniform rate of five cents for distances below 300 miles. However, Congress did not authorize the production of stamps until 1847, the Franklin and Washington stamps. As for U.S. stamps until 1857, they were all imperforate.
The 5-cent stamp paid for a letter weighing less than 1 oz and travelling less than 300 miles, the 10-cent stamp for deliveries to locations greater than 300 miles, or, twice the weight deliverable for the 5-cent stamp. Each stamp was hand engraved in what is believed to be steel, and laid out in sheets of 200 stamps.
Because the type of ink used contained small pieces of quartz which wore down the steel plates from which the stamp was printed, the Franklin stamp is often found with very poor impressions. On the other hand, most Washington stamps are of strong impressions.
A fresh and brilliantly printed 5-cent stamp is prized by collectors.
Drawing by Roy Alexander on acetate over 1972 publication of the USPS, Sept. 1974. Stamp enlarged 15x.
Edition of 800 was silk screened on Nov. 19, 1974 by Arthur Jones at Mar-Line Displays in Port Chester, NY,
on Navajo cover paper "Gray".
Outside dimensions of the brown frame are 11-7/16" x 13-1/4", and paper is 17-7/16" x 23".
Each print, numbered & signed, is $34, plus shipping & applicable tax.
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