Designs of the U.S. Regular Issues of 1851-1860

 Printed in sheets of 200 subjects with two side-by-side 10 x 10 panes of 100 stamps (except the 5¢ in which the 2 panes were vertical)

1¢ Franklin of 1851
Blue

Engravers:   Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame and Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued* Perf Printer Color - Plates Type Design Size Usage
1851 5 7/5/1851 ~35,000 None TCC blue - plate 1E I 20 x 26 mm The one cent stamp paid the rate for drop letters and circulars.

This issue was printed from 11 Plates (plus a late state of plate 1) of 200 stamps each. Plates 1E, 1L, 2, 3 and 4 produced imperforate stamps. Plates 1L, 2, 4-5 and 7-12 produced perforated stamps. The plate and position of each stamp can be determined uniquely.
1851 5A 7/1/51(FD) ~210,000 None TCC   blue - plate 1E Ib see note below
1857 6 4/19/1857 ~110,000 None TCC   blue - bottom row of plate 4 Ia --------   
--- 6b 5/20/1857 ~60,000 None TCC   blue - plate 4 Ic --------   
Special Printings: The following information applies to all of the 1851 reprints. The Special Printings were issued to showcase a complete set of the U.S. issues for the first World's Fair officially held in the U.S., at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia and also to provide stamps for collectors and others to satisfy numerous requests. While "Reissued" stamps were valid for postage, "reprints" were not, since the series was demonetized in 1861.All of the 1851 reprints are easily identifiable by their gauge 12 perforations versus the gauge 15 of the regularly issued stamps. The one cent reprint is easily identifiable by its bright blue color.
1851 7 7/1/51(FD) ~12,300,000 None TCC   blue - plates 1E, 2, 3 and 4 II --------   
1857 8 7/7/1857 off cover ------- None TCC   blue - plate 4 III --------   
1855 8 --- ------- None TCC   blue - plate 2 - pos. 99R2 III --------   
1851 8A 7/3/1851  ~650,000 None TCC   blue - 1E, 2 and 4 IIIa --------   
1852 9 6/5/1852 ------- None TCC   blue - plate 1L (recuts) IV --------   
--- 9a --- ------- None TCC   printed on both sides reverse inverted IV --------   
1861 18 1/25/1861 ------- 15½ TCC   blue - plate 12 I 20 x 26 mm
1857 19 9/9/1857 ~300,000 15½ TCC   blue - plate 4 Ia --------   
--- 19b --- ~150,000 15½ TCC   blue - plate 4 Ic --------   
1857 20 7/26/1857 ------- 15½ TCC   blue - plates 2, 4, 11 and 12 II --------   
1857 21 9/18/1857 ~3,500 15½ TCC   blue - plate 4 and pos. 99R2 III --------   
--- 21a --- --- 15½ TCC   horizontal pair imperf. between III --------   
1857 22 7/26/1857 ------- 15½ TCC   blue - plates 4, 11 and 12 IIIa --------   
--- 22b --- --- 15½ TCC   horizontal pair imperf. between IIIa --------   
1857 23 7/25/1857 ------- 15½ TCC   blue - plate 1L (recuts) IV --------   
1857 24 11/17/1857 ~50 million 15½ TCC   blue - plates 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 V --------   
1857 24 --- ~200,000 15½ TCC   blue - plate 5 Va --------   
--- 24b --- --- 15½ TCC   laid paper V --------   
1875 40 n/a 3846 12 - Continental bright blue - reprint I 20 x 26 mm

3¢ Washington of 1851
Orange Brown

Engravers:   Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame: (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand     Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU/
Variety
No. Issued* Perf Printer Color - Plates Type Design Size Usage
1851 10 7/1/51(FD) est. 20 million None TCC orange brown; plates 1E;1i I 20 x 25 mm

The three cent stamp paid the single letter rate for letters traveling less than 3000 miles, which is essentially the entire U.S. except letters traveling from the East to West coasts. The fee for coast-to-coast mail was 6¢ and it is perhaps odd that no 6¢ stamp was issued, although there was a 6¢ stamped envelope. This fee was often paid using two 3¢ stamps. Bisects are known.

The Three Cent Issue Of 1851-6, Imperforate, was printed from 13 Plates or states of plates. Each stamp can be uniquely identified as to its plate and position.

Only stamps printed by the Early State of Plate 1 apparently were available on the Designated First Day. This plate was reworked quite early and a cover with a stamp from the reworked plate is known as early as 11 days after first issued.
1851 10A 7/1/51(FD) None TCC orange brown;1E, 1i, 2E, 5E, 0 II 20 x 25 mm
--- 10Ab printed on both sides None TCC II 20 x 25 mm
1855 11 3/28/1855 ~ 340 million stamps were issued that would now be assigned as Scott 11 or Scott 11A None TCC dull red;  claret; rose red
orange red, plum
brownish carmine; pinkish
plates 4, 6, 7, 8
I 20 x 25 mm
1857 11A 10/6/1851 None TCC dull red; brownish carmine; claret; rose red; orange red; experimental orange;   plates 1L, 2L, 3, 5L II 20 x 25 mm
--- 11Ac vert. bisect on cover None TCC II 20 x 25 mm
--- 11Ad diag. bisect on cover None TCC II 20 x 25 mm
--- 11Ae double impression None TCC II 20 x 25 mm
1857 25 2/28/1857 ~39 million 15½ TCC rose; rose red, claret, dull red
plates 4, 6, 7, 8
I 20 x 25 mm
--- 25b vert. pair imperf. horiz. 15½ TCC I 20 x 25 mm
1857 25A 4/15/1857 --- 15½ TCC rose; rose red, claret, dull red
plates 2L, 3, 5L
II 20 x 25 mm
1857 26 9/14/1857 ~550 million 15½ TCC dull red, red, rose
brownish carmine, claret
orange brown, plum
plates 9, 12-28
III 20 x 25 mm
--- 26b horiz. pair imperf. vert. 15½ TCC III 20 x 25 mm
--- 26c vert. pair imperf. horiz. 15½ TCC III 20 x 25 mm
--- 26d horiz. pair imperf between 15½ TCC III 20 x 25 mm
--- 26e dbl. impress. 15½ TCC III 20 x 25 mm
1857 26A 7/11/1857 ~33 million 15½ TCC dull red, rose, brownish carmine; claret; plates 10, 11 IV 20 x 25 mm
--- 26Af horiz. strip of 3, imperf. vert. on cover IV 20 x 25 mm
1875 41 --- 479 12 - Continental scarlet - reprint I 20 x 25 mm
The 3¢ reprint was never valid for postage. See: Special Printings

5¢ Jefferson of 1856-1859
Type I Brown

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand     Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1856 12 3/24/1856 ~150,000 None TCC red to dark red brown I 19½ x 25½mm
Early use of the 5¢ stamp saw greatest use as prepayment of the 5¢ open mail rate. It also saw heavy usage as a make-up rate stamp, for example to pay the 15¢ rate to France or doubled to pay the 10¢ rate. Single usages of the 5¢ stamp on cover are rare. Note that the image shown is of the early die, which was altered slightly to print the actual stamps.
1858 27 10/6/1858 ~135,000 15½ TCC brick red I 19½ x 25½mm
1857 28 8/23/1857 ~270,000 15½ TCC red brown I 19½ x 25½mm
1857 28b --- 15½ TCC bright red brown I 19½ x 25½mm
1858 28A 3/31/1858 <50,000 15½ TCC indian red I 19½ x 25½mm
1859 29 3/21/1859 ~510,000 15½ TCC pale to deep brown, yellow brown I 19½ x 25½mm

5¢ Jefferson of 1860-1861
Type II Orange Brown

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand     Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Purpose
1861 30 5/8/1861 ~570,000 15½ TCC orange to deep orange brown II see Design Size below 
This variety of the 5¢ stamp came about as an attempt to make the complete design fit vertically between the perforations by cutting away some or all of the projections at top and bottom.  Note that there is a gradation from partially to fully removed projections. All are to be considered as type II.
1860 30A 5/4/1860 ~825,000 15½ TCC yellow brown to brown
to dark brown
II
--- 30Ab --- 15½ TCC printed on both sides II
1875 42 n/a 878 12 - Continental orange brown - reprint II The 5¢ reprint was issued as part
of a set of Special Printings

10¢ Washington of 1855-1861
Green

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame and Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1855 13 7/11/1855 ~500,000 None TCC yellowish green to dark green I 19 x 24¼ mm
The 10¢ stamp was used primarily to pay the postage on letters that traveled coast to coast.

The Ten Cents Issue Of 1855 probably was first sold in early May 1855. Only one plate was used to print the Ten Cents Issue and all four types exist on this plate. The Earliest Documented Cover with a stamp from this plate is May 12, 1855, (#14, a Type II stamp).
1855 14 5/12/1855 ~2,300,000 None TCC yellowish green to dark green II see note below
1855 15 5/19/1855 ~2,000,000 None TCC yellowish green to dark green III --------   
1855 16 6/4/1855 ~200,000 None TCC yellowish green to dark green  IV --------   
1857 31 8/25/1857 ~600,000 15½ TCC yellow- to blue- to dark green  I 19 x 24¼ mm
1857 32 7/27/1857
off cover
~2,900,000 15½ TCC yellow- to blue- to dark green  II see note below 
1857 33 8/8/1857 ~2,400,000 15½ TCC yellow- to blue- to dark green  III --------   
1857 34 10/5/1857 ~240,000 15½ TCC yellow- to blue- to dark green  IV --------   
The 10¢ reprint was issued as part of a set of Special Printings.
1859 35 4/29/1859 ~12,000,000 15½ TCC yellow- to dark green; 2nd plate V --------   
1875 43 n/a 516 12 - Continental blue green - reprint I 19 x 24¼ mm

12¢ Washington of 1851-1861
Grey Black

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand     Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1851 17 8/4/1851 ~2,500,000 None TCC gray black to intense black plate I 20 x 25 mm
The 12¢ was used primarily to pay the postage on heavy letters and for foreign destinations. A very common usage was to Great Britain, where two 12¢ stamps paid the 24¢ rate.
--- 17a --- None TCC diag. half on cover plate I 20 x 25 mm
--- 17b --- None TCC vert. half on cover plate I 20 x 25 mm
--- 17c --- None TCC printed on both sides plate I 20 x 25 mm
1857 36 7/30/1857 ~3,000,000 15½ TCC gray black to black plate I 20 x 25 mm
--- 36a --- --- None TCC diag. half on cover plate I 20 x 25 mm
--- 36c --- --- None TCC horizontal pair imperf. between plate I 20 x 25 mm
1859 36B 6/1/1860 --- 15½ TCC black to intense black plate 3 20 x 25 mm
1875 44 44 n/a 489 12 - Continental greenish black - reprint 20 x 25 mm The 12¢ reprint was issued as part of a set of Special Printings

24¢ Washington of 1860-1861
Grey Lilac

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame (geometric lathe): Cyrus Durand     Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1860 37 7/7/1860 740,000 15½ TCC gray lilac to red  lilac ---- 19¼ x 25 mm The 24¢ stamp saw common usage on letters to Great Britain. It was also used in combination with other stamps to make up a higher rate
--- 37a --- 15½ TCC gray ---- 19¼ x 25 mm
1875 45 n/a 479 12 - Continental blackish violet - reprint ---- 19¼ x 25 mm
The 24¢ reprint was issued as part of a set of Special Printings.

30c Franklin of 1860-1861
Yellow Orange

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame and Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1860 38 8/8/1860 360,000 15½ TCC yellow orange to red orange ---- 20 x 25 mm
The 30¢ stamp saw usage on letters to Europe and other foreign destinations. Germany, France and Italy and their states were common destinations. The stamp was also used in combination with other stamps to make up a higher rate.
1875 46 n/a 480 12 - Continental yellow orange - reprint ---- 20 x 25 mm
The 30¢ reprint was issued as part of a set of Special Printings.

90c Washington of 1860-1861
Blue

Engravers:    Vignette: Joseph I. Pease
Frame and Lettering: Henry Earle

Year Scott EDU No. Issued Perf Printer Color Type Design Size Usage
1860 39 9/11/1860 25,000 15½ TCC blue to deep blue ---- 19 x 24½ mm
There are only 6 recorded 90¢ 1860 covers, all but one to foreign destinations. The domestic solo usage was for a multiple weight legal-size cover addressed to a courthouse whose contents probably were depositions. The stamp was also used in combination with other stamps to make up a higher rate.
1875 47  n/a 454 12 - Continental deep blue - reprint ---- 19 x 24½ mm
The 90¢ reprint was issued as part of a set of Special Printings.

Quantity issued:
Estimates are based on available information, primarily from Brookman, "The United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century- Volume I", "Linn's U.S. Stamp Facts 19th Century", published by Linn's Stamp News and Chase's "The Three Cent Stamp of the United States 1851-1857- Revised". These numbers are simply estimates based on the best information available and are subject to revision.

The 3¢ imperforate quantity issued is based on an estimated 360,000,000 stamps printed, with the vast majority being from the later plates. The best way to determine whether a stamp is an early, Scott 10 and 10A, or later printing, Scott 11 or 11A, is to determine which plate it was printed on. While it is true that most of the earlier printings are a shade of orange brown, it is not the color that determines the variety, it is the plate. The early printings were printed on plate 0, the early and intermediate plate 1 and the early plates of plates 2 and 5. The later variety was printed on the late plates of plates 1, 2 and 5, as well as plates 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. In general, the early printings are much sharper than the later printings.

Design Size on the 1¢, 5¢ and 10¢ Stamps: All varieties other than type I have been at least partially cut away, sometimes on all four sides and to varying degrees within a particular type depending on plate position. This was done to make the design fit within the allocated space on the plate leaving adequate margins for separation. This was particularly true when adding perforations to the finished sheets became standard practice in 1857. Since the design width and height varied from stamp to stamp, even within a particular type, design measurements for the various types are meaningless.

Special Printings: The following information applies to all of the 1851 reprints. The Special Printings were issued to showcase a complete set of the U.S. issues for the first World's Fair officially held in the U.S., at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia and also to provide stamps for collectors and others to satisfy numerous requests. While "Reissued" stamps were valid for postage, "reprints" were not, since the series was demonetized in 1861. All of the 1851 reprints are easily identifiable by their gauge 12 perforations versus the gauge 15 of the regularly issued stamps.

Bibliography and suggested additional reading:
The Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Volume 1, by Lester Brookman (1966)
The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps, Sesquicentennial Retrospective Hubert Skinner, Charles Peterson editors (USPCS 2006)
The 2011 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers, Scott Publishing Co. 2010
United States Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1847 to GPU-UPU, by Charles J. Starnes
The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-1857, by Stanley Ashbrook 2 volumes (1938)
The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-1861, by Mortimer Neinken (1972)
The Three Cent Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue, by Dr. Carroll Chase (Quarterman Reprint 1975)
The United States 3c Issue of 1851-1861: A Progress Report, by T. J. Alexander (39th Am. Philatelic Congress 1973)
The U.S. Five Cent Stamp of 1856: The Frederick R. Mayer Collection, by Richard C. Frajola & Frederick R. Mayer (2005)
The United States 5c Stamps of 1856-1861, by Henry Hill
The United States Ten Cent Stamp of 1855-1857, by Stanley Ashbrook (1936)
The United States Ten Cent Stamp of 1855-1859, by Mortimer Neinken (1960)
United States Twelve Cent Stamp of 1851-1857, by Stanley Ashbrook (1926)
The United States Twelve Cent Stamp of 1851-1857, by Mortimer Neinken (1964)
Plate Varieties of the United States Twenty-four Cent 1860, by Elliott Perry (17th Am. Philatelic Congress 1951)
The United States Ninety Cent Stamp of 1860 On and Off Cover, by S. Ashbrook (17th Am. Philatelic Congress 1951)

Design dimensions:
The Postage Stamps of the United States, John Luff (1902 and 1937)

Colors:
The Encyclopedia of the Colors of United States Postage Stamps - Volume 1 Issues of 1847-1868, by Roy H. White (1981)

Postal History:
United States Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1847 to GPU-UPU, by Charles J. Starnes
The U.S. Five Cent Stamp of 1856: The Frederick R. Mayer Collection, by Richard C. Frajola & Frederick R. Mayer (2005)
History of Letter Post Communication between the United States and Europe, by George E. Hargest

Plating:
Notes on the plating of the 10¢ stamp were published by Elliott Perry in the Collector's Club Philatelist from 1924-1926. Perry's plating of this stamp is considered one of the great milestones in the hobby.