The Post Office Department issued the first 12-cent Franklin stamp in April 1914. At the time of its last printing, it had been issued in three versions. A variety of papers, coils, watermarks, and perforations distinguish the renditions.
As a single stamp, the 12-cent Franklin could have been used to pay the domestic first class rate and the registered mail fee. It was also commonly coupled with other denominations to fulfill large weight and foreign destination rates. By the time the last 12-cent Franklin stamps were sold, more than 380 million had been issued.