Arago: 1-cent Washington

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1-cent Washington

This green 1-cent George Washington stamp was the first stamp of the Presidential Series of 1938 issued. Millions of these stamps were issued, and they were seen on everyday mail through the late 1950s.

In 1933 newly-elected President Franklin Roosevelt, an avid stamp collector, suggested a set of stamps honoring past presidents. In 1937, after lengthy discussions, a decision was made to issue a new definitive series using the Roosevelt's suggestion. A national contest would determine the design upon which the series would be based. With over twelve hundred entries submitted, some from famous artists, a young New York City art student's contribution was chosen the winner. Her name was Elaine Rawlinson.

George Washington has been pictured on more U.S. stamps than any other individual. As the first president, it is fitting that Washington appear on the 1-cent Presidential Series stamp. This stamp appeared in many forms: sheet stamp, horizontal and vertical coil, and as a booklet pane.

No matter the form, the 1-cent George Washington stamp theoretically could pay any postal rate, singly or when added to other stamps. For a collector looking for a solo usage, the most common way would be paying the one-cent domestic postcard rate in effect July 1928 through December 1951. More difficult to find is the one cent per ounce local drop rate (for letters mailed from and to an addressee at a post office without mail-carrier service) in effect July 1919 through December 1951.


Glossary

Additional Records
  • Overview
  • 1c Washington single
  • 1c Washington horizontal coil single
  • 1c Washington horizontal joint line pair
  • 1c Washington plate block of four
  • 1c Washington vertical coil single
  • 1c George Washington plate proof
  • 1c Washington approved large die proof
  • 1c Washington plate proof
  • 1c Washington plate proof
  • 1c Washington plate proof
  • Presidential Series Washington experimental plate proof
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