12¢ Claret brown and deep claret brown
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Subject: Benjamin Franklinn
Number issued: 14,903,000
Scott #: 474
Issued: October 10th, 1916
$1 - $3
No postmark with gum (MH)
$19 - $35
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$60 - $80
It was used for three purposes:
The lines depicted in blue in the above image indicated the areas of double transfer. it is particularly noticeable on Franklins shoulder where the hatched lines will have some crossing. The shifted transfer is less noticeable on the frame lines as all you will notice is a slight thickening of the lines. They can be seen on a few plate #6900 on the two stamps above the plate number
The stamps on unwatermarked paper were current for a little over five months. They have never been plentiful and are relatively scarce. This unwatermarked paper was used with the old perf. 10 machines while the Bureau was waiting for the perforating wheels to wear out prior to changing all machines to 11 gauge. The use of this new paper before this change was unexpected by collectors. As a result, this perf. 10 unwatermarked variety was almost entirely overlooked.
Due to the color of the stamp the watermark on the previous issue is difficult to see, extreme care should be used in classifying it. Several tests may be necessary to be sure that no watermark exists.
While these stamps were current, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing made the first experimental precanceled stamps. An example of precancel is shown above. Almost all precancels have a solid line above and below the location name.
#474 was issued with the following plate #'s
6900-02, 10, 13