There is no date stamp on this
cover, however we can deduce from the stamp issue and the type of
cancellation within a few years of when this cover was sent.
The 1 Cent Franklin was part of
a definitive set first produced by the
National Bank Note Company
from 1870 to 1871.
They were produced on white wove paper with either H or I grills with
a perforation count of 12 (per 2
Grills consisted of small square
pyramids impressed into the stamp to break the fibers causing the
cancellation to be absorbed by the paper and prevent washing and
reusing of the stamp. This process was first used in the National Bank
Note issues of 1867 and continued up through some of the Continental
Bank Note issues of 1875.
Continental Bank Note Company
produced several varieties of this issue beginning in
and without grills and on several different types of paper.
Continental Bank Note Co. 1 Cent Franklins can be readily identified
from the earlier National Bank Note issues by the
(a small crescent visible with
magnifier in the pearl to the right of the 1 at bottom center of the
American Bank Note Company
took over the Continental Bank Note Company, including their presses,
paper, employees, etc in 1879
and began producing these issues, including the 1 cent Franklin on
soft porous paper. The 1 cent Franklin on this cover is on soft porous
paper and in addition, the cancellation contains a duplex killer with
the letter B in the center. This type of cancellation was first used
We can further narrow down the
date this cover was sent by looking at the company records. The
Narragansett Machine Company
was incorporated in 1889,
which prior to this time was known as the
A. E. Tenney Manufacturing Company.
The Company's address
from 1889 to 1890 was
the company address was Pleasant
Since this cover contains the
return address; it had to have
been mailed in 1889
Thus we can be reasonably sure
that this stamp is the American
Bank Note issue of 1879 Scott #182 (Blue
Gray Variety) and that the cover
was sent some time after 1879.
Note: There is some small
possibility that this stamp was produced by the Continental Bank Note
Company, as they did produce some issues during 1878 and 1879 on soft
porous paper just prior to being taken over by the American Bank Note
Company. Odds are, however that this is indeed Scott #182.