30¢ Orange red or dark orange red
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: Benjamin Franklin
Number issued: 12,150,000
Watermark: Single line USPS wmk
Scott #: 439
Issued: September 19, 1914
$2 - $12
No postmark with gum (MH)
$75 - $150
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$300 - $550
The earliest known use of #439, February 13th 1915
The watermark consists of single lined USPS letters. A stamp may show only part of a letter or letters
Like the twenty cent stamp this clenomination was issued primarily for use on Parccl Post after the discontinuance of distinctive stamps for this service.
Although this variety was current for over two and a half years and in that time about ten million copies were issued, a very limited amount of mint copies were saved to philately and this stamp is today very desirable and much scarcer than any of the other varieties of this denomination.
This variety being merely a change in perforations many collectors, at the time, overlooked this stamp. its primary function also being for Parcel Post its use was limited and the average collector was not aware of its existence until quite some time after it had been replaced by the perf. 11 stamp.
The thirty cent stamp perforated 10 was the subject of a great deal of controversy. When the paper used for printing stamps had been changed to the unwatermarked stock and the perforating wheels were still set at 10 gauge, copies of this denomination have said to have been found on the new paper.
Philatelic writers with close connections in Washington claimed that the stamp did not exist perf. 10 on unwatermarked paper while others who had seen the "unwatermarked" copies were insistent that the stamps did so exist. The Bureau's aid was asked and a checkup by them proved that this denomination perforated 10 on unwatermarked paper COULD NOT EXIST as the thirty cent plates did not go to press between the time the Bureau started using unwatermark paper and the time that the last flat plate perforating machine had been changed to 11 gauge. A further checkup on the "unwatermarked " stamps with the aid of photography showed the watermark to be present but very faint
The thirty cent stamp therefore only exists in one variety in each type of perforation and causes less confusion than almost any other value in this group.
#439 was issued with the following plate#'s
6899, 6911-14, 17
Bureau of Engraving, Washington DC, 1910. interior view with women working at tables in the stamp division of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Woman working machinery at the Bureau
Small die proof printed for the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915, post office exhibit