Designs of the 1908 Series – Washington Franklins with the “Franklin” Design

Printed by The Bureau of Engraving and Printing · Designer: Claire Aubrey Huston · Engravers: Marcus W. Baldwin, Robert F. Ponickau and E. M. Hall.
Design size: 18&frac12-19 x 22mm (reversed for the $2-$5 stamps) · "EDU" = Earliest Documented Usage · "Wmk" =
Watermark · "SE" = Straight-Edge · "booklet" = pane of 6.
Note that only one Franklin stamp was issued rotary, the 10¢ coil Cat. # 497. Quantity issued are approximations based on USPOD records.

  "ONE CENT"
Franklin – Series of 1908 · Flat Plate

Quantity Issued:
11,781,508,390 regular issue ; 541,000,000 booklet stamps and 94,307,000 coil stamps      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type Perf Wmk Possible
SE
 
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
331 12/14?/1908 12/1/1908  sheet 12 x 12 double-line on any side  yellow to bright to dark green;
double transfer; cracked plate
Imprints: BEP with no star; large hollow star or small solid star;
blocks with 2mm or 3mm spacing
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all one cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate presses

The 1¢ stamp saw
heavy usage paying the post card rate, but was also used with
other stamps to complete the rate on other mail..

On unsealed matter, one cent paid the 2nd-class rate, per ounce up to
two ounces, and the 3rd-class rate for the 
first two
ounces. 

Forth class matter was uniformly one cent per ounce and this stamp paid
for the first ounce.

The one-cent stamp also paid the local, intra-city, first-class rate at
post offices without carrier services. Cities with carrier service
charged the going first class rate, that is two cents. 

For more on local rates.
  two-cent
Washington
 

331a 12/2?/1908 12/2/1908  booklet 12 x 12  double-line on any side  green to bright green
343 12/23?/1908 1/4/1909  sheet imperf. double-line   yellow to bright to dark green; 
double transfer
343V 5/24/1910 vert. coil imperf. double-line  guideline pair;
paste-up pair
343H 8/25/1910 hor. coil imperf. double-line  guideline pair;
paste-up pair
348 12/29/1908 1/25/1909 vert. coil 12 horiz. double-line  green; dark green;
guide-line pair
352 1/2?/1909 3/30/1909   horiz. coil 12 vert. double-line green; dark green; 
guide-line pair; double transfer; 
2mm or 3mm spacing (pair)
357 2/16/1909 2/21/1909  blue paper 12 x 12  double-line on any side  green; 2mm or 3mm
spacing (block)
374 11/23/1910 2/7/1911  sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side light green to dark green;
double transfer; cracked plate; block of 60
2mm or 3mm spacing (block)
374a 10/7/1910 2/28/1911  booklet 12 x 12 single-line on any side  green to dark green
383 ~1911 1/28/1911  sheet imperf. single-line  yellow to bright to dark green;
double transfer; 
2mm or 3mm spacing (block)
383V 4/13/1911 vert. coil imperf. single-line   double transfer;
guideline pair; paste-up pair
383H 8/3/1911 ? hor. coil imperf. single-line   guideline pair; paste-up pair2mm or 3mm spacing (pair)
385 11/1/1910? 1/231911 ? vert. coil 12 horiz. single-line   green to dark green;
guide-line pair
387 11/1/1910 11/5/1910   horiz. coil 12 vert. single-line   green; guideline
pair; 
2mm or 3mm spacing (pair)
390 12/12/1910 10/5/1911 vert. coil 8½ horiz. single-line   green to dark green; 
guideline pair; double transfer
392 12/12/1910 5/3/1911   horiz. coil 8½ vert. single-line    green to dark green; 
guideline pair; double transfer
   8¢ Franklin – Series of
1911 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued:
825,500,000 regular issue stamps      
 


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
414 2/14/1912? 4/20/1912? sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side pale olive green to olive green the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all eight-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

On November 1 ,
1909 the registry fee was raised  from eight cents to ten cents.
This was well before this stamp was issued, so this stamp saw limited
usage. 

It did pay the UPU double rate, five cents for the first ounce and three
cents for the second oz., eight cents total.

431 9/26/1914 1/20/1915 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side pale olive green to olive green;
double impression
470 11/13/1916 1/26/1917
off cover
sheet 10 x 10 none on any side olive green to dark olive green;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
508 3/24/1917 7/7/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side olive bistre; olive to dark
olive green; vert. pair imperf. between
508c 11 x 10 at top or bottom
  
9¢ Franklin
– Series of 1914
· Flat Plate
 

Quantity Issued:
312,250,000 regular issue stamps       


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
415 4/?/1914 5/1/1914 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side salmon red; rose red the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all nine-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate presses

The 9¢ stamp was
used primarily with other stamps to pay parcel postage. This was
the first regularly issued 
U.S. nine cents stamp.
432 10/6/1914 10/7/1915
off cover
sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side salmon to dark salmon red
471 11/16/1916 12/27/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side salmon red;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
509 3/?/1917 10/2/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side pale to deep
salmon; light to salmon red; double transfer
509a 11 x 10 at top or bottom
  
10¢ Franklin
– Series of 1911
· Flat Plate & Rotary
 

Quantity Issued: 1,846,000,000
regular issue stamps and 13,480,000 coil stamps      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
416 1/?/1912 2/12/1912 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side yellow to orange yellow; 
double transfer
the
design size 
for all but Sc497 is 18&frac12-19 x 22mm (flat plate)

Sc497 was a rotary printing and measures 19&frac12+ x 22mm

The 10¢ Franklin stamp paid
the registry fee, with up to $50 indemnity. It also paid the Special
Delivery fee and could be used in lieu of the 10¢ Special Delivery
stamp. 
416a sheet 12 x 12 single-line brown yellow
433 9/9/1914 11/13/1914 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side orange yellow to golden yellow
472 10/17/1916 10/24/1916 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side orange yellow;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
497 1/31/1922 1/31/1922
FDC
rotary 
 horiz. coil
10 vert. none orange yellow;
joint line pair
510 3/?/1917 3/27/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side orange yellow to golden yellow
510a sheet 11 x 11 none brown yellow
  
11¢ Franklin
– Series of 1914
· Flat Plate
 

Quantity Issued:
169,500,000 regular issue stamps       


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
434 8/11/1915 10/8/1915? sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side bluish green to dark green the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all eleven-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 11¢ stamp was
often used with other stamps to make up a parcel rate. 

Solo usage: triple the UPU rate, five cents for the first ounce and
three cents for each additional ounce. Solo usages are scarce.

473 11/16/1916 4/13/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side dark green;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
511 5/?/1917 12/1/1917? sheet 11 x 11 none on any side light to deep green; dark green;
double transfer
511a 11 x 10 at top or bottom
   12¢ Franklin – Series of
1914 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued:
383,060,000 regular issue stamps     
 


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
417 ~4/1914 5/5/1914 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side claret brown to deep claret
brown;
double and triple transfer
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all twelve-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 12¢ Franklin stamp paid
for 1st class postage and the registry fee, with up to $50 indemnity.
Note that the registry fee was raised to ten cents in 1909, leaving
quite a gap between when this stamp would have first been useful and when it
was first issued.
435 9/10/1914 2/22/1915 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side claret brown to
dark claret
brown;
double and triple transfer
435a —  sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side pale to deep copper red
474 10/?/1916 10/6/1916
off cover
sheet 10 x 10 none on any side claret brown to deep claret
brown;
double and triple transfer;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
512  5/12/1917 8/15/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side claret brown to bright claret
red;
double and triple transfer
512a  — sheet 11 x 11 none on any side pale to deep brownish carmine
512b 11 x 10 at top or bottom
  
13¢ Franklin · Flat Plate

Quantity Issued:
32,285,000 regular issue stamps      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors  Design
Size
Usage
513 1/10/1919 1/25/1919 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side pale to deep apple green;
pale to bright yellowish green

note that the 13¢ Franklin stamp was only issued perf 11 on
unwatermarked paper, Cat. # 513

the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all thirteen-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

This stamp was useful for only
about 5 months. From the date it was issued until July 1, 1919 when
the 
War Emergency Rate was rescinded, it paid for the letter rate plus
registry fee. After July  this rate dropped to 12¢. Used
copies of this stamp are not common 
   15¢ Franklin – Series of
1911 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued:
382,550,000 regular issue stamps      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
418 2/14?/1912 4/26/1912 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side gray to dark gray;
double transfer
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all fifteen-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 15¢ Franklin stamp
paid the registry fee of 10¢,  plus the UPU rate of 5¢. A
few of these registered covers with solo usage were caught up in the
Russian revolution and are very collectible today. The stamp also saw
usage on heavier letters and parcels.
437 9/16/1914 9/21/1915 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side gray to dark gray
475 11/16/1916 3/2/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side gray to dark gray;
Springfield MA exp. precancel
514 5/21?/1917 11/15/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side gray to dark gray;
double transfer
514a 11 x 10 at bottom
   20¢ Franklin – Series of
1914 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued: 466,800,000      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
419 4/?/1914 5/1/1914 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side ultramarine to dark
ultramarine 
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all twenty-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 20¢ stamp
saw heavy use on parcels particularly due to the introduction of the
Parcel Post system and the discontinuance of the Parcel Post stamps. To
a lesser extent it saw use on multiple weight and foreign mail. 
438 9/19/1914 11/28/1914 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side ultramarine to dark
ultramarine 
476 12/5/1916 3/2/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side pale to bright
ultramarine;
Springfield MA exp. precancel 
515 5/12?/1917 5/4/1918 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side pale to deep
ultramarine; pale to deep blue; gray blue; vert. pair imperf. between;
double transfer; 
double impression
515d 11 x 10 at top or bottom
   30¢ Franklin- Series of
1914 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued: 181,440,000 regular issue stamps      


Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
420 4/1914 5/1/1914 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side orange red to dark orange red the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all thirty-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 30¢ stamp
saw heavy use on parcels particularly due to the introduction of the
Parcel Post system and the discontinuance of the Parcel Post stamps. To
a lesser extent it saw use on multiple weight and foreign mail. 
439 9/19/1914 2/13/1915 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side orange red to dark orange red
476A sheet 10 x 10 none on any side orange red
516 5/12/1917 1/12/1918 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side pale reddish orange; 
orange red to dark orange red; 
double transfer; double impression
516a 11 x 10 at top or bottom

   50¢ Franklin –
Series of 1911 · Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued: 125,600,000 regular issue stamps      

Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
421 ~5/1/1914 5/1/1914 sheet 12 x 12 single-line on any side violet to bright violet; note
that this stamp was issued two years after Sc422; frame line offset on
reverse is common
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all fifty-cent stamps with this design were printed on flat plate
presses

The 50¢ stamp saw heavy
use on parcels, particularly after the introduction of the Parcel Post
system in 1913 and after the discontinuance of the short-lived 
Parcel Postage stamps
 
designed specifically for the purpose of mailing parcels.
422 2/12/1912 10/31/1914 sheet 12 x 12 double-line left or right violet; note that this stamp
was issued two years before Sc421;
there is no offset on reverse
440 12/10/1915 8/31/1917 sheet 10 x 10 single-line on any side violet
477 3/2/1917 8/31/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none on any side pale violet to violet
517 5/19/1917 12/28/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none on any side light violet to violet; red
violet;
double transfer; vertical pair imperforate between and at bottom
517c 11 x 10 at top or bottom

   $1 Franklin
– Series of 1911
· Flat Plate 

Quantity Issued:
21,950,000      

Cat. #  Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk   Possible
SE
Colors/Varieties  Design
Size
Usage
423 2/14/1912? 7/15/1915 sheet 12 x 12 double-line left or right violet brown;
double transfer
the
design size 
is consistent at 18&frac12-19 x 22mm

all one dollar stamps with this design were printed on flat plate presses

The $1 Franklin stamp saw heavy
use on parcels, par-
ticularly after the introduction of the Parcel Post system in 1913
(see also:1912) and
after the discontinuance of the Parcel Post stamps, although they remained
valid for postage and were still delivered to post offices as late as June
1917.
460 2/8/1915 5/25/1916 sheet 10 x 10 double-line left or right violet brown; double transfer
note that the $1 Franklin was never printed on single-line watermarked
paper
478 12/22/1916 5/24/1917 sheet 10 x 10 none left or right violet black; double transfer
518 5/?/1917 5/19/1917 sheet 11 x 11 none left or right dull to dark violet brown; violet
black; double transfer
518b no trace of violet color sheet 11 x 11 none left or right deep brown

 

   $2 Franklin

Quantity Issued: 791,380 regular issue stamps      

Cat. # 

Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk Design
Size 
Colors   Possible
SE

Usage 

523 8/19/1918? 12/17/1918 sheet 11 x 11 none

22mm  x
18&frac12-19mm 

orange red and black;
red orange and black
none The $2 Franklin stamp
547 11/1/1920 12/6/1920 sheet 11 x 11 none 22mm x
18&frac12-19 mm 
carmine and black; Johl notes a
double transfer
none
547a sheet 11 x 11 none 22mm x
18&frac12-19 mm 
lake and black none

   $5 Franklin

Quantity Issued: 296,650 regular issue stamps     

Cat. # 

Issue
Date
EDU Type  Perf Wmk Design
Size
Colors   Possible
SE

Usage 

524 8/19/1918 3/20/1920 sheet 11 x 11 none

22mm x
18&frac12-19 mm

deep green and black

none The $5 Franklin stamp

* Issue dates are primarily from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing records and updated from the
Sisken/Berkun data and current Cat. # U.S. Specialized where appropriate and from readers such as yourself. If the date of issue is the same as the EDU the cover is considered a First Day Cover. Sometimes the date precedes the date of issue. The EDU information is based on the best information available. Please report errata and/or updates. If you know of a documented, certified usage earlier than the one listed, please let me know and the information will be updated as appropriate. 

*Possible SE – This information is given in order to determine whether a stamp can be reperforated and at which sides:
1. "on any side" means that a straight-edge is possible on any of the four sides and reperfing may occur at any side
2. "left or right" means that a straight-edge will not occur naturally at top or bottom, reperfs at left and right only 
3. "none" means that straight-edges did not occur naturally on these stamps; reperfs are not normally expected
Straight-edge information is given only for sheet stamps and booklet stamps. 

Bibliography and suggested additional reading:

Basic Information: 
The 2010 Cat. # U.S. Specialized Stamp Catalogue
(Amos Press 2009)
Why Collect the U.S. Washington-Franklin Heads? A 100th Anniversary
Tribute,
a 10-part series by Larry Weiss (USSS)
Washington-Franklins 1908-1921,
by Martin Armstrong (1979 2nd edition)
United States Coil Issues, by Martin Armstrong (1980 2nd edition)
The Expert’s Book, by Paul Schmid (1990)
Washington Franklin’s Simplified, by Larry Weiss (available from the USSS,
see below) Preservation of United States Stamps

(Supplement to Encyclopedia of Colors), by Roy White (1981)
The U.S. Postage Stamps of the 20th Century, Volume I revised,

by Max Johl (1937)
Compound Perforation Errors, by John Hotchner (United States Specialist Sep. 1981 to June 1983)
The 1949 Cat. # U.S. Specialized Stamp Catalogue, Cat. # Stamp & Coin Co. Limited
Rates:

Exploring the Washington-Franklin Era (a 19-part series), by Paul Bourke (USSS from Jan. 2003 to July 2004)


U.S. Domestic Postal Rates 1872-1999, by Beecher and Wawrukiewicz (1999)
U.S. International Postal Rates 1872-1999
, by Beecher and Wawrukiewicz (1996)


Colors
:
The Micarelli Identification Guide to U.S. Stamps: Regular Issues 1847-1934 by Charles N. Micarelli
The 2010
Cat. # U.S. Specialized Stamp Catalogue
(Amos Press 2009)
The Encyclopedia of the Colors of United States Postage Stamps
Volume 4 – Issues of 1908-1918, by Roy H. White (1981)

Notable Auction Sales:

The Dr. Joseph Agris Gold Medal Collection of United States Coil Issues – Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sep. 5, 1997
Ed and Pat Siskin
– 

The Chesapeake Collection of U.S. 1914 Compound Perforations – Robert A. Siegel
Auction Galleries #877 June 12, 2004
The North Fork Collection of Superb 20th Century U.S.  – Robert A. Siegel
Auction Galleries #903 October 20, 2005
The Alpha Collection (EDUs) – Shreves Philatelic Galleries Feb. 16, 2006
The Alan B. Whitman Collection, Pt. III: 1902-1934 Issues B-O-B 
– Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries #968b Sep. 22-25, 2009

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