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The Great Americans series

The Great Americans series began in 1980 with the 19¢ Sequoyah stamp, and continued through 2002 with the 78¢ Alice Paul self-adhesive stamp.  This was a period of changing printing technology, with several long-used BEP rotary presses being replaced by more modern presses, and ultimately, by private security printers.

The 1¢ Dix, 6¢, 7¢, 9¢, 10¢ Russell, 14¢ Lewis and 22¢ issues were printed by presses which used a "floating" plate number.  The plate numbers, usually "1", appear only in the left and right margins, and there is no corner selvage as with other stamps in the Great Americans series.  In addition, some of the early 20¢ Truman, 30¢, 39¢ and 40¢ Gilbreth stamps were printed with floating plate numbers, while later printings of the same stamps utilized standard plate layouts.

Scott 1844, 1¢ Dorothea Dix, bulls-eye perf, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1844c, 1¢ Dorothea Dix, "L" perf, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1844d, 1¢ Dorothea Dix, Plate number 2 R

Scott 2168, 1¢ Margaret Mitchell, Plate number 1 UR

Scott 1845, 2¢ Igor Stravinsky, Plate number 4 LR

Scott 1845 var, 2¢ Igor Stravinsky, misperfed, Plate number 3 LL

Scott 2169, 2¢ Mary Lyon, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 1846, 3¢ Henry Clay, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 1846 var, 3¢ Henry Clay, misperfed, Plate number 2

Scott 2170, 3¢ Dr. Paul Dudley White, Plate number 4 UR

Scott 1847, 4¢ Carl Schurz, Plate number 4 LL

Scott 2171, 4¢ Father Flanagan, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 1848, 5¢ Pearl Buck, Plate number 3 LL

Scott 2172, 5¢ Hugo L. Black, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2172 var, 5¢ Hugo L. Black, misperfed, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 2173, 5¢ Luis Muñoz Marin, Plate number 2 UL

Scott 1849, 6¢, Plate number 1 R

Scott 1850, 7¢, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1851, 8¢, Plate number 6 LR

Scott 1852, 9¢, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1853, 10¢ Richard Russell, Plate number 1 R

Scott 2175, 10¢ Red Cloud, Plate number 1 LL.  The block tagging can be seen in this image.

Scott 1854, 11¢, Plate number 5 UR

Scott 1855, 13¢, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 1856, 14¢ Sinclair Lewis, small block tagging, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1856a, 14¢ Sinclair Lewis, large block tagging, Plate number 1 R

Scott 2176, 14¢ Julia Ward Howe, Plate number 2 LL

Scott 2177, 15¢, prephosphored tagging, Plate number 2 UR

Scott 2177a, 15¢, overall tagging, Plate number 2 UL

Scott 1857, 17¢ Rachel Carson, Plate number 15 UL

Scott 1857 var, 17¢ Rachel Carson, misperfed, Plate number 13 LL

Scott 2178, 17¢ Belva Ann Lockwood, Plate number 1 UR

Scott 1858, 18¢, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 1858 var, 18¢, misperfed, Plate number 6 LR

Scott 1859, 19¢, Plate number 39529 UL

This was the only stamp in the Great Americans series printed with the traditional 5-digit plate number.  The transition to "representative" plate numbers started shortly after it was issued.  Other stamps in this series usually started with plate number 1 for each issue.

Scott 1860, 20¢ Ralph Bunche, Plate number 10 LL

Scott 1861, 20¢ Thomas H. Gallaudet, Plate number 1 UR

Scott 1861 var, 20¢ Thomas H. Gallaudet, misperfed, Plate number 2 LL

Scott 1861 var, 20¢ Gallaudet, Plate number 1 LR, showing chrome stain in lower margin caused by pitting of the chrome plating when the plates are cleaned.

Scott 1862, 20¢ Harry S Truman, perf 10.9, block tagged, Plate number 1 R

Scott 1862b, 20¢ Harry S Truman, bulls-eye perf 11.2, overall tagged, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 1862d, 20¢ Harry S Truman, bulls-eye perf 11.2, prephosphored, Plate number 4 UR

Scott 2179, 20¢ Virginia Apgar, red brown, Plate number B3 LR

Scott 2179a, 20¢ Virginia Apgar, orange brown, Plate number B2 UR

Not only is the color of Scott 2179a slightly different, but the plate layout, selvage size, and plate number font were also changed.

Scott 2180, 21¢, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 1863, 22¢, Plate number 1 L

Scott 2181, 23¢, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2182, 25¢, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 2182a, 25¢, booklet single, Plate number 1 T

Scott 2182b, 25¢, booklet single, untagged error, Plate number 3 T

Scott 2183, 28¢, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2184, 29¢ Earl Warren, Plate number S2 LR

Scott 2185, 29¢ Jefferson, Plate number S1 UR

Scott 1864, 30¢, perf 11, small block tagging, Plate number 1 R

Scott 1864a, 30¢, bulls-eye perf 11.2, large block tagging, Plate number 2 UR

Scott 2933, 32¢ Milton S. Hershey, Plate number B2 LR

Scott 2934, 32¢ Cal Farley, Plate number B1 UR

Scott 2935, 32¢ Henry R. Luce, Plate number B1 UR

Scott 2936, 32¢ Lila and DeWitt Wallace, Plate number P1 LL

Scott 1865, 35¢ Dr. Charles Drew, Plate number 3 LR

Scott 2186, 35¢ Dennis Chavez, Plate number S1 UR

Scott 1866, 37¢, Plate number 2 UL

Scott 1866 var, 37¢, misperfed, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 1867, 39¢, perf 10.9, small block tagging, Plate number 1 R

Scott 1867 var, 39¢, misperfed, Plate number 1 L

Scott 1867d, 39¢, bulls-eye perf 11.2, large block tagging, Plate number 2 LL

Scott 1868, 40¢ Lillian M. Gilbreth, perf 10.9, small block tagging, Plate number 1 R

Scott 1868a, 40¢ Lillian M. Gilbreth, bulls-eye perf 11.2, large block tagging, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 2187, 40¢ Claire Chennault, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 2188, 45¢, bright blue, block tagging, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2188a, 45¢, blue, overall tagging, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2938, 46¢, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 1869, 50¢, Plate number 4 UR

Scott 1869a, 50¢, bullseye perf, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2189, 52¢, uniform prephosphored, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2189a, 52¢, mottled prephosphored, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 2940, 55¢ Dr. Alice Hamilton, Plate number B3 LL

Scott 2941, 55¢ Justin Morrill, Plate number B1 UR

Scott 2190, 56¢, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2191, 65¢, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2192, 75¢, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2942, 77¢, Plate number B1 LL

Scott 2943, 78¢, bright violet, Plate number B1 LL

Scott 2943 var, 78¢, bright violet, LL Plate number B1 showing unusual reverse offset from a previously printed pane

Scott 2943a, 78¢, dull violet, Plate number B1 UR

Scott 2943b, 78¢, pale violet, Plate number B1 LL

Scott 2193, $1 Bernard Revel, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2194, $1 Johns Hopkins, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 2194 var, $1 Johns Hopkins, misperfed, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2194 var, $1 Johns Hopkins, local precancel, Plate number 1 LR

Scott 2194f, $1 Johns Hopkins, Plate number 2 LR

Scott 2195, $2, Plate number 2 LL

Scott 2196, $5, Plate number 1 UL

Scott 2196 var, $5 local precancel, Plate number 1 LL

Scott 2196b, $5, solid tagging, Plate number 2 LL

 

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This page last updated May 30, 2011.

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