The traditional pairing of Benjamin Franklin with the 1-cent denomination continued with the 1881-1882 Re-Engraved Bank Note Issue. By re-engraving the printing plate, American Bank Note Company distinguished this issue from earlier printings. The primary differences can be found in the curls and balls in the top left and right of the frame. ABNCo engravers shaded these elements to a point of near invisibility. Some other areas of the frame were also slightly shaded, giving the stamp a darker impression than the previous issues. A new gray blue color printed on soft porous paper also distinguished this stamp from the earlier ultramarine shades. This soft porous paper had been used for the previous American Bank Note Issue.
The single 1-cent stamp could have paid the one-cent card rate that had been current since 1879. Used in combination with other denominations, the 1-cent Franklin also paid higher rates. Approximately 3,372,279,000 stamps of the 1-cent re-engraved issue were printed by American Bank Note Company.