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us United States of America


United States of America 1847

stamppages : free online postage stamp catalogue : United States of America 1847

1851 →

First stamps of the US.
Beginning in the late 18th century, Americans began to expand westward, prompting a long series of American Indian Wars. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase almost doubled the nation's area, Spain ceded Florida and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819, the Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845 during a period of expansionism, and the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. Victory in the Mexican-American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest, making the U.S. span the continent.
The California Gold Rush of 1848-49 spurred migration to the Pacific coast, which led to the California Genocide and the creation of additional western states.
In 1848 the southern bulk of Wisconsin Territory was admitted as the 30th state, Wisconsin.
1850: The western portion of the Mexican Cession was admitted as the 31st state, California. The portion of the remainder north of 37° north and west of the summit of the Rocky Mountains was organized as Utah Territory. Part of Utah Territory overlapped with the portion of Texas that would be purchased on December 13, 1850, but the law authorizing the purchase was passed on this day, so the borders of Utah Territory assumed the purchase will go through.
The 5-cent Franklin stamp exists in a vast number of shades. There are more than twenty-five major shade classifications for the stamp, and there are almost a hundred more varieties listed under those. Consequently, these shades are a truly fascinating part of 1847 collecting. Some shades are very hard to find; others are quite common. The plate was put to press five times, and the stamps from each printing are distinguishable by the characteristics of their impressions. Brown inks, which contained oxides of various metals, eroded the engraved plate's fine lines through the several thousand impressions. Repeated, inconsistent wiping of the plate after each impression also eroded the engraving. After the third printing, the plate was virtually useless. The plate was then acid-etched before the fourth printing, cleaning the plate, deepening its lines, and thereby enhancing the impression. However, in the process the lines of the engraved plate were widened twice as much as they were deepened, the acid eating away at the left and right sides simultaneously. It also ate away at the bottom. While this helped strengthen medium-to-deep lines, it gave them a soft or fuzzy appearance. Many of the extremely fine lines completely disappeared from the stamps of the fourth and fifth printing. A few positions on the plate might have been re-entered after the fourth and/or fifth printing. Plate varieties included six so-called double-transfers, a "T" Crack, the dot in "S," and a few others. Cancellations are usually a red grid, town, or manuscript. Any other well-defined strikes are sought after.
Unlike the printings of the 5-cent 1847 stamp, the four printings of the 10-cent stamp are not academically important. There is no dispute over whether the plate was re-worked, had re-entries, or was cleaned. These actions, presumed to have been performed on the 5-cent plate, changed certain details of the 5-cent stamp's appearance. Since these did not occur on the 10-cent plate, the 10-cent deliveries are almost completely indistinguishable from one another. The range between the first delivery and the fourth delivery is very narrow and barely perceptible. The primary reason for this is the composition of the inks. The composition of the inks was likely carbon-based pigments, similar to carbon black. Unlike the pigments of the 5-cent stamp, the 10-cent inks were not abrasive. Another reason for lack of wear to the 10-cent plate is that only 1,050,000 stamps were printed. That is less than twenty-five percent of the 4,4000,000 stamps for the 5-cent stamp. If the 5-cent plate had made only 1,050,000 stamps, production would have stopped during the second delivery, leaving only excellent impressions known from the 5-cent stamp as well. Elliott Perry plated all two hundred positions of the 10-cent stamp. He found that, because of the black ink's non-abrasive nature and its sharp contrast on the paper, the nuances of each impression rendered them virtually indistinguishable. There are four double transfers and many well-known varieties from this plate. The 1847 issue was demonetized on July 1, 1851, replaced by new stamps and new postal rates. The contract to print the new issue was not awarded to Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, which retained ownership of the 1847 printing plates and dies. From that point onward, all printing contracts provided for government possession of all the plates and dies. The lack of government control over the printing media, it is believed, caused the 1847 issue to be demonetized.


1847001: 5 FIVE CENTS 5 - Benjamin Franklin (imperforate, unwatermarked)
1847001-t2 : 1875 Reproductions of 1st stamps: the letters R. W. H. & E. at the bottom of each stamp are less distinct on he reproductions than on the originals. On the originals the left side of the white shirt frill touches the oval on a level with the top of the F of Five. On the reproductions it touches the oval about on a level with the top of the figure 5. On the originals the bottom of he right leg of the N in CENTS is blunt. On the reproductions the N comes to a point at the bottom (Source: Scott). (1875) quasi postal
1847002: X TEN CENTS X - George Washington (Imperforate, Unwatermarked. Thin bluish wove paper)
1847002-t2 : 1875 Reproductions of 1st US Stamps: the letters R. W. H. & E. at he bottom of each stamp are less distinct on he reproductions than on the originals. On the reproductions, line of coat at left points to right tip of X and line of coat at right points to center of S of CENTS. On the originals, line of coat points to T of TEN and between T and S of CENTS. The bottom of the right leg of the N of CENTS shows the same difference as on the 5c originals and reproductions. On the reproductions the eyes have a sleepy look, the line of the mouth is straighter, and in the curl of hair near the left cheek is a strong black dot, while the originals have only a faint one. Source Scott. (1875) quasi postal

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