Arago: 16-cent Lincoln

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16-cent Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the sixteenth president of the United States (1861-1865), appears on the 16-cent value of the 1938 Presidential Series. A bust displayed in the Senate Gallery in Washington, D.C., inspired Lincoln's likeness on this issue.

Much has been written about the life of the legendary Abraham Lincoln, from his birth in a log cabin in Kentucky to his assassination at the beginning of his second term as president in 1865. Honored worldwide as a symbol of justice and freedom, Lincoln has appeared on hundreds of stamps around the globe.

Issued on October 20, 1938, this 16-cent value was printed in black and only in sheet form.

No single rate ever existed for this 16-cent stamp, but the stamp was used with other stamps to pay a variety of postal rates. In addition, a solo 16-cent stamp paid for a variety of domestic combination rates. When the stamp was issued, it would prepay two times the three-cent domestic first-class rate and the ten-cent Special Delivery rate. This combination was in effect July 6, 1932, through October 31, 1944. Also, at the time of the stamp's issue, the 16-cent stamp would pay the six-cent-per-one-ounce domestic airmail rate plus ten cents for Special Delivery. This combination was in effect July 1, 1934, through October 31, 1944.

The six-cents-per-ounce military airmail rate created another opportunity for solo usage when added to the existing ten-cent Special Delivery fee. This combination was in effect December 25, 1941, through October 31, 1944.

When the Special Delivery rate increased to thirteen cents on November 1, 1944, the 16-cent Lincoln could still be used, but this time on a one ounce 3-cent domestic letter. This combination rate was valid until December 31, 1948. When the domestic airmail rate increased to eight-cents-per-ounce on March 26, 1944, a 16-cent stamp could pay double the rate. This rate lasted until September 30, 1946.

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