$1 Violet Black
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Subject: Benjamin Franklin
Number issued: 275,000
Watermark: Double Line USPS wmk
Scott #: 460
Issued: February 8, 1915
$17 - $65
No postmark with gum (MH)
$350 - $450
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$900 - $1,250
In order to strengthen the sheet of stamps the perforation was changed from 12 to 10. In 1914 the new rotary press machines could only print coil stamps. The Bureau had a large stock of 200 subject sheets, which were all watermarked with the double lined watermark so it was decided to use this up, rather than produce new sheets with the the single line watermark.
Only in print for eighteen months the print run was almost double the amount of the previous $1 issue (#423)
The primary use for these stamps was for parcel post, primarily for packages going to Russia.
The watermark consists of double lined USPS letters. A stamp may show only part of a letter or letters
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.