15¢ Grey or dark grey
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Subject: Benjamin Franklin
Number issued: 13,532,000
Scott #: 475
Issued: November 16th, 1916
$1 - $5
No postmark with gum (MH)
$40 - $125
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$350 - $1100
This denomination, when first issued, served mainly to pay for overweight letters to European and other foreign points and packages mailed in the U.S.
On November 1st, 1909, the registry fee was raised to ten cents. This made a 15¢ stamp useful to cover the registration fee plus a single letter rate on foreign bound letters, and the demand increased very rapidly.
The earliest known date of use, October 24th 1916
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.
#475 was issued with the following plate #'s
6809-19, 25, 33