½¢ - Pale olive brown, olive brown, dark olive brown
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: Nathan Hale
Number issued: 626,241,783
Scott #: 551
Issued: April 4th, 1925
No postmark with gum (MH)
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
#551 was issued with the following plate #'s
17017-20, 29-52, 54-58, 71-86
A pane of 100 stamps
There were 4 panes to a sheet
A first day cover of #551, April 4th, 1925
These were first put on sale at the Philatelic Agency at Washington, D. C., and at New Haven, Conn., the former home of Nathan Hale.
This new value was issued to meet the needs of new rates of postage which were to become effective April 15, 1925, as described by the Postal Service Act approved February 28, 1925. It was to be used in conjunction with the existing private and Post Office stocks of one cent stamps and stamped envelopes to cover the increased rate on third class matter to one and one-half cents per ounce or fraction thereof, and was used in quantity mainly with a one cent stamp on circulars of one ounce or less, but also for higher fractional rates.
The vignette comes from a statue of Nathan Hale by Lyon Pratt. The actual photo used by the engravers is shown above along with the statue as it looks today.
Trial color proof on india die sunk on card
Plate proof on bond paper
Large die proof on india mounted on 110x101mm card