Bill Lehr


JOBI Philatelic Services Information Sheet:  Reay or Plimpton?  The 1’ Conundrum

Published in US Stamp News AUG 2009


Guide to the Reay and the Plimpton 1 cent, blue, Franklin, with engine work between frame lines

            Another popular misidentification problem explained.


1870 Reay, Scott U74-W77/UPSS 142-153

Die 35/Scott type U23, measures 25 X 29 mm.; 2 working die varieties:



                     Die 35T1 on manila                                            Die 35T2 on white


Type 1:  the neck is a straight line                      Type 2:  there is a distinct notch

 above and below the choker


Die 35:  the “O” of “POSTAGE” has a round center with crossed lines; “O” of “ONE” has an oval center with a dot; periods following “U” and “S” are square and alike; nose is pointed; lips are open; Franklin has a double chin; hair is lumpy and tangled; hair is continuous at the back with the bust; there is a heavy crease at the neck; outer ends of the engine turning are round loops with each loop containing a small dot; numerals nearly fill the ovals; dots on the bottom of the numerals are close to the stem and nearly touching the border; bottom of the bust points to the end of the “N” of “ONE”; back of the bust is slightly curved.



1874 Plimpton, Scott U108-W112/UPSS 254-261

Die 46/Scott type U34


Two classes: Class I, the bust has an ear, 20 working die varieties, and Class II, the bust has no ear, two working die varieties; the “O” of “POSTAGE” has a large center, either plain or exhibiting a small oval or a dot; “O” of “ONE” has a large center with either a dot, a scratch, a small oval, or plain; back of the bust is pointed and nearly touches the frame; bust is narrow in front; head is upright; periods after “U” and “S” vary depending on the working die variety; front of the bust is twice as far from the fame as is the back of the bust; top of the head is much farther from the frame than either point of the bust; engine work is irregular and generally shows sharp points with many of the enclosed dots missing; dots on the bottom of the numerals are small, very near the border, and far from the stem of the numeral; bust forms an angle at the back near the frame; lettering is poorly done.   (Light blue on orange shown)






1874 Plimpton, Scott U113-W120/UPSS 262-292

Die 47/Scott type U35


“O” of “POSTAGE” has an oval center crossed by two intersecting lines (network in the “O” of “POSTAGE”); lower part of the bust points at the “E” of “ONE”; front of the bust is broad and blunt; head is inclined forward with a deep space toward the throat; lettering is broad and clear; engine work is clean and distinct; spaces at the front, top, and back of the bust are wide and nearly equal; ends of the loops of the engine work are more pointed than in Die 35; there is considerable space above the numerals compared to both Die 35 and to Die 46; dots on the base of the numerals are distant from the stem of the numerals; periods after the “U” and the “S” are both round; left side of the “O” of “ONE” is too thick; center of the “O” of “ONE” is oval; back of the bust is flat.