5c Beacon on Rocky Mountains top plate block of six
The first frame plate (#19549) was put into production on June 27, 1928, with the first vignette plate (#19549) following on July 5, 1928. The frame was printed first and the sheets allowed to dry for four days (or more) before the vignette was printed.
The second group of Beacon plates consisted of only two new vignette plates (#19597 and #19598), which were placed into production on October 25, 1928. They were first used in conjunction with frame plates from the first printing and used later with frame plates from the third printing.
The third printing began on Nov. 7, 1928, with horizontal guidelines added to the top margin of the frame plates.
It is a misnomer that there were multiple printings of the Beacon. In his 1965 monograph, Henry Goodkind used the term in an unfortunate manner that has made it part of the Beacon history. Printing of the Beacon was continuous from start to finish; there were no breaks in production. Goodkind used printing to refer to an almost arbitrary grouping of plates based upon their marginal markings and characteristics.