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Early U.S. stamps were printed by private printers in Philadelphia and New York.

There are no plate numbers on the first U.S. stamps, the 5 Franklin and 10 Washington, Scott 1 and 2, or on their 1875 reprints, Scott 3 and 4.

1851 imperforate issue

Scott 7, 1 Franklin, pos 41L2, Plate Number 2 L

Scott 9, 1 Franklin pos 51L1L, Plate Number 1 L

Fewer than 10 plate number examples of Scott 9 are thought to exist, all from Plate 1.

Scott 11, 3 Washington, right plate number single, Plate Number 4 R

Scott 14, used 10 Washington, Plate Number 1 L

Scott 17, used 12 Washington, left imprint single, Position 51L1

 

1857 issue, perforated

Scott 24, 1 Franklin, Plate Number 9 L

Scott 26, 2 Washington, Plate Number 25 L

Scott 30A, 5 Jefferson, Plate Number 2 R

Scott 35, 10 Washington, Plate Number 2 L

Scott 38, 30 Franklin, left imprint single

 

1861, New designs due to the Civil War

All previous issues were demonetized, and new stamps with new designs were issued to postmasters in states that remained in the Union.

Scott 42, 5 Jefferson, 1875 special printing, left imprint single

Scott 47P3, 90 Washington proof, 1875 special printing, photographically cropped from a larger block, probably unique; right imprint pair with plate number 1

Scott 56, 3 Washington, Plate Number 2 B

Scott 56TC3, 3 Washington trial color, pair with bottom Plate Number 2

Scott 63, 1 Franklin, Plate Number 9 B

Scott 63E11d, 1 Franklin first design essay, Plate Number 1 B

Scott 63TC5, 1 Franklin trial color, brown, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

Scott 63TC5, 1 Franklin trial color, dull violet, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

Scott 63TC5, 1 Franklin trial color, black, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

Scott 63TC5, 1 Franklin trial color, orange, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

Scott 63TC6, 1 Franklin trial color, dull green, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

Scott 63P3, 1 Franklin proof, pair with bottom Plate Number 27

The trial colors and the proof in blue were all printed from the same position of the same plate.

Scott 64, 3 Washington, pair with bottom Plate Number 12

Scott 65, 3 Washington, Plate Number 33 B

Scott 65P, 3 Washington proof, blue, bottom Plate Number 2 probably from Plate 32 or 52

Scott 65TC5, 3 Washington trial color proof, brown, bottom Plate Number 34

Scott 65TC var, 3 Washington trial color proof, pale lilac, underinked, pair with bottom Plate Number 21

Scott 66, 3 Washington, lake, Plate Number 34 B

Scott 66P3, 3 Washington proof, lake, pair with bottom Plate Number 55

Scott 67E9d, 5 Jefferson first design essay, pair with bottom Plate Number 3

Scott 69P3, 12 Washington proof, pair with bottom Plate Number 60

Scott 71, 30 Franklin, misperfed, Plate Number 7 B

Scott 71P3, 30 Franklin proof, pair with bottom Plate Number 7

Scott 71SB, 30 Franklin specimen, pair with bottom Plate Number 7, photographically cropped from the unique plate block of 8

Scott 72, 90 Washington, Plate Number 18 B

Scott 72P3, 90 Washington proof, pair with bottom Plate Number 18

Scott 72SB, 90 Washington specimen, pair with bottom Plate Number 18, photographically cropped from what is believed to be the only plate block in existence (a bottom plate block of 8) of Scott 72, with or without overprint.

Scott 73, 2 Jackson, Plate Number 29 B

Scott 73E, 2 Jackson essay, Plate Number 30 B

Scott 73P3, 2 Jackson proof, Plate Number 28 B

Scott 73SB, 2 Jackson specimen, Plate Number 50 B

Photographically cropped from the bottom plate block of 8, which is thought to be unique.

Scott 77P3, 15 Lincoln proof,  pair with bottom Plate Number 41

Scott 78P3, 24 Washington proof,  pair with bottom Plate Number 6

Scott 79E15a, 3 Washington essay,  pair with bottom Plate Number 36

The "essay" designation is not due to the stamp design nor the color, but rather the experimental "all-over" grill with points down.

Scott 79E15d, 3 Washington essay,  pair with bottom Plate Number 34

The "essay" designation is not due to the stamp design nor the color, but rather the experimental "music box" grill.

Scott 87, 2 Jackson E Grill, Plate Number 53 B

Scott 88, 3 Washington E Grill, pair with Plate Number 36 B

Scott 93, 2 Jackson F Grill, pair with Plate Number 51 B

Scott 94, 3 Washington F Grill, pair with Plate Number 32 B

 

The 1869 Pictorial issue

Scott 112P3, 1 Franklin proof,  Plate Number 2 T

Scott 113, 2 Pony Express Rider, Plate Number 27 B

Scott 114, 3 Locomotive, Plate Number 26 T

Scott 114, 3 Locomotive, used with fancy cancel, showing partial pate number 11 at top

Scott 114 used, miscut, misperfed, showing partial plate number at top

Scott 114P3, proof, plate number 30 B

Scott 117P3, 12 Adriatic proof,  pair with bottom Plate Number 17

Scott 119P3, 15 Landing of Columbus Type II proof,  pair with bottom Plate Number 23

Scott 120P3, 24 Declaration of Independence proof,  pair with bottom Plate Number 20

Scott 121P3, 30 Eagle & Flags proof,  pair with top Plate Number 21

Scott 122P3, 90 Lincoln proof,  pair with top Plate Number 22

Scott 129a, 15 Landing of Columbus, imperf horizontally error,  Plate Number 32 T

This plate number example is unique.

Scott 129P3, 15 Landing of Columbus, proof, pair with Plate Number 32 T

Scott 129P4a, 15 Landing of Columbus, inverted certer error, proof, pair with Plate Number 32 T (brown) and inverted Plate Number 32 T (blue)

Scott 133, 1 Franklin 1880 reprint, Plate Number 33 B

 

Plate numbers on Proofs, Essays, Trial Colors and Specimens

 

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This page last updated July 10, 2011.

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