Four years after the first U.S. stamps of 1847, postal rates dropped and new stamps were needed. The Post Office hired the Philadelphia engraving firm of Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. (later, Toppan, Carpenter & Co.). Toppan, Carpenter continued printing U.S. stamps until it lost the stamp contract to National Bank Note in 1861.
Benjamin Miller had a special interest in plating stamps, meaning that he had different stamps for all or most of the positions on a given printing plate. He acquired many platings of the Toppan, Carpenter stamps from the collection of philatelist Carroll Chase.