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Benjamin Franklin Issue

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Canada and the United States jointly issued the Bicentennial stamp.

On June 1, 1976, the United States Postal Service issued a 13-cent Bicentennial stamp featuring Benjamin Franklin and a map of North America in 1776 (Scott 1690). Bernard Reilander designed the stamp, basing the image on a marble bust of Franklin and a map published in London by R. Sayer and J. Bennett.

The ultramarine and multicolored stamp was printed (lithographed and engraved) on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Giori press as sheets of two hundred subjects, tagged, perforated 11, and distributed as panes of fifty. Mr. Zip, “MAIL EARLY IN THE DAY,” electric eye markings, and a plate number in each corner are printed in the selvage.

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) served as deputy postmaster for the colonies (1753–1774), the first postmaster general (1775), and a statesman. In addition, he was a printer, journalist, publisher, author, librarian, philanthropist, abolitionist, public servant, diplomat, scientist, and inventor. A leader of the American Revolution and signer of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, he is also well known for his many quotations and his experiments with electricity. Franklin’s bust appeared on the first U.S. stamp, and he has been one of the most frequently honored subjects on U.S. stamps.

Reference: Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

About U.S. Stamps