Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American patriot, printer, inventor, diplomat, and first postmaster general was chosen for the Fourth Bureau Issue's 1-cent stamp. An image of Franklin had appeared continually on the lowest value U.S. stamp since 1847, when stamps were first issued in the United States. No new engraving was made for the Franklin vignette of this stamp. Rather, Marcus Baldwin's engraving for Washington-Franklin Heads Series was reused. Baldwin modeled his work after a photograph of a plaster bust of Franklin created by French artist Jean Jacques Caffieri's in 1777. Caffieri was one of Louis XV's court sculptors and died in 1792. The stamp's frame was designed by Clair Aubrey Huston and engraved by Edward M. Hall and Joachim C. Benzing.
The 1-cent Franklin, which was commonly used on postcards, first appeared in 1923, and had been printed by the flat plate press. It was later printed by the Stickney rotary press. It exists not only as a sheet stamp but also in coil and booklet formats.