The image of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the eighteenth president of the United States, appears on the 18-cent denomination of the 1938 Presidential Series. Grant's likeness was inspired by a statue in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Grant was a career military professional whose service in the Civil War made him a national hero. This popularity eventually propelled him into two terms of the presidency (1869-1877).
This carmine brown stamp was printed as a sheet stamp and was released to the public on November 3, 1938. When first issued, the 18-cent stamp paid for a three-cent domestic letter plus fifteen cents for minimum registration (in effect July 6, 1932, through March 25, 1944). In addition, a solo 18-cent stamp could have prepayed the three-cent fee for a letter to South America and Spain plus the fifteen-cent fee for international registration ( in effect July 6, 1932, through January 31, 1945).
Beginning on October 1, 1946, the 18-cent stamp prepayed the five-cent fee for domestic airmail and a thirteen-cent fee for special delivery. This combination rate was in effect until December 31, 1948.
When postage rates were raised, an 18-cent stamp would still prepay the three-cent rate for a domestic letter and thirteen-cent fee for special delivery. This combination of rates was in effect January 1, 1949, through December 31, 1948.
Other ways to use the 18-cent stamp included paying six times the three-cents-per-ounce domestic letter rate (in effect July 6, 1932, through July 31, 1958) and three times the six-cent airmail rate (in effect July 1, 1934, through March 25, 1944, and again January 1, 1949, through July 31, 1958, and for World War II military personnel, December 26, 1941, through September 30, 1946).