The 1-cent Franklin probably served more uses than any stamp of the 1861 Issue. First, it prepaid the drop letter rate for local delivery in large eastern cities if the letter had been hand-delivered to the post office building. Second, it prepaid the delivery of any printed circular or newspaper weighing less than three ounces. Every additional ounce required another 1-cent Franklin. Third, it prepaid the fee for carrier service that delivered mail originating in another town to a local addressee or delivered mail originating at a local address to the post office for deposit in the mails. Fourth, one cent was the postal rate for books weighing less than four pounds. An additional one-cent-per-ounce was charged for distances up to fifteen hundred miles. A book sent over fifteen hundred miles was charged a two-cents-per-ounce fee. Finally, the 1-cent Franklin paid for some third-class mail or, in combination with other higher denominations, greater weight and foreign destination rates. National Bank Note Company printed approximately 138,000,000 stamps of the 1-cent issue.
-Alexander T. Haimann, May 16, 2006
Scott Catalogue USA: 63
Museum ID: 1980.2493.219