1¢ Yellowish green, bright green, green, deep green
Subject: George Washington
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Watermark: Single Line USPS
Scott #: 424
Issued: September 5th, 1914
No postmark with gum (MH)
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$2 - $7
Horizontally imperforate between stamps.
Value is $500- $750 for a strip of three
Imperforate horizontally between stamps and straight edge at the top
The watermark consists of single lined USPS letters. A stamp may show only part of a letter or letters
In 1914, when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had the rotary plates working satisfactorily the excess stock of the sheets printed from the special " COIL STAMPS " plates were perforated vertically and sold as ordinary stamps in sheets of one hundred. Thus the "unobtainable" plate number blocks later became available in blocks of ten solving the lmprint "COIL STAMPS" and plate number. A never hinged block of ten has a value of approximately $350
Long shot of the print room in the Bureau of Engraving, Washington DC, 1913
Inspecting a new perforating machine at the Bureau of Engraving, Washington DC, circa 1920
The Department received numerous complaints that the sheets perforated twelve were too brittle, business houses using blocks of stamps on Parcel Post mail found the stamps fell apart at the slightest touch and thus causing a loss of time. The Bureau remedied this condition by changing the wheels to provide ten perforations to every 2cm.
This change in perforating wheels from old style twelve to the new type ten was done gradually, one machine being changed at a time. Through some error a small quantity of stamps was issued perforated with both old and new perforations. Some were perforated vertically twelve on the machines still set for the old style and perforated ten horizontally on the changed machines, while others had the vertical and horizontal perforating done just the reverse. According to reports less than fifty have been found perforated 10x12, two thirds of these having been precancelled DAYTON, OHIO, (#423d) while only about twenty poorly centered copies of the 12x10 exist including two blocks of four. Because of their rarity so called copies have been frequently found with counterfeit perforations.
The earliest known use of #424, October 21st 1914
#424 was issued with the following plate #'s
6946-49, 53, 58-59, 61-62, 67-68, 70, 74-75, 81-83, 87, 89-90, 96
7001-03, 08, 10, 12, 17, 23, 27, 30, 32
7103-08, 10, 13-14, 16, 18-19, 42, 44-46, 48-49, 51, 53, 56-57, 59, 61, 64-65, 67, 69, 73
7300-12, 20, 28-29, 32, 38, 51, 59, 61, 63-65, 70-71, 74-75, 80-82, 84
A pane of #424. there are 100 stamps to a pane and four panes to a sheet
As the curved plates of the Rotary press made the stamps slightly larger it is relatively easy to discern which stamp is flat plate and which is a rotary press stamp. First select any perf Washington Franklin stamp or the first issue Washington Franklin 1 cent or 2 cent. These are the stamps with the numbers one and two spelt out, instead of numbers being displayed. I chose the latter alternative as shown in the first image above.
Then cut out squares at each corner. As shown in the second image above. Placing the stamp you wish to test under your cut out stamp you can see if the frame lines match. If, as in the last image shown above the frame lines are outside the top stamp in either the top, bottom or sides then you have a rotary stamp. If the lines are in the same place, as shown in the third image, you have a flat plate stamp.
This test works with any value stamp.
The flat plate press