Number of stamps/sheet or stamps/pane for several of the Washington Franklin issues

Happy Easter!

I'm hoping that someone here will be able to make a little time and provide me some guidance re: number of stamps/sheet or stamps/pane for some of the Imperforate Washington Franklin issues.

#343 thru #347
#383 and #384
#408 and #409
#481 thru #484
#531 thru #535
#575 thru #577

I have - I think, but am not certain - some of the numbers, but on some of them, it's challenging to know where to look.

I've looked here:

Stamp Smarter -
Mystic Stamps -
Scott Online Catalog

I'm looking for the probable number of Centerline Blocks of 4 for each issue.

For example, if there were 4 panes (400 stamps) per sheet, then the centerline block total would be different than if there were different combinations of stamps/sheet and/or panes/sheet.

Maybe someone knows or are able to direct me to where I might locate or purchase a reference that contains this information?

Thanking you in advance...


HT Putney

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
Alice in Wonderland


  • 17 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hi HT,

    This is a great question.
    Essentially, Flat Plate and Offset used the same paper fed into the press, so Flat and Offset FWs were printed in sheets of 400 (panes of 100) so you would have 1 center line block in each page. (So 343 - 484 whether perforated or not, are printed on the same sheet size of 400).

    All the ones you have listed are either flat or offset press type.

    Just a hint of additional information:
    You don't see the question here about rotary press, because there are no center line blocks. The rotary press printed on paper rolls, and were cut after printing. Interestingly, they have a width of 17 stamps wide, and were cut in sheets 10 high, so rotary press "sheet" stamps are on sheets of 170 stamps.

    The reason this method is so heavily found in the coil stamps is because they could just run continuous long runs and then cut them (coil stripper, which was essentially a perforation machine with the wheels replaced with cutting wheels instead of perforations). These long strips allowed for big rolls (500+ stamp) without the need to join sheets (paste up) of the flat plate printings, which were used in the production of coil stamps.

    Imperf Coils DO exist (in fact, most of the "imperf" singles are frequently imperf coils where they are just cut away either vertically or horizontally) instead of being individual stamps.

    Just thought this addition might be useful.
  • Hi Scott,

    Thank you so much for your info re FW printings.

    And, thanks for the "additional" info...very helpful.

    Do you have any other suggestions on where I can learn more about the total number of quantities issued for these FWs?

    Sometimes I can find the info, it's available, and other times...things are quite opaque. Any guidance would be appreciated.

  • edited April 17 0 LikesVote Down
    Hi HT,
    Well, I would suggest, baring the bluish paper issues, where we know the 360 (4c) and 363 (8c) were never issued for postal use, that any other numbers suggested for total printings would have to be estimates.

    The June 1910 Third Assistant Postmaster General’s report states that 4,400 (eleven sheets) of the 4c were printed on Bluish Paper. It is believed none of these were ever provided to postmasters.

    The Franklin-Washington "era" isn't called an era for convenience. It ran from 1908 to 1921 (Scott #331 to #547), with very few other designs printed (and one of those was Lincoln in the same format). The post office keeps track of the printing of commemoratives (since the first ones), but not definitives (though there were some early records where specific purchase orders for quantities of stamps can be had). Since almost all the FWs are really definitives, we can really only determine their scarcity by literally, their scarcity.

    The "Where to look"... that's just tough information. There is no suggestion I can make for an easy answer here. As I have found details over the years, I have amassed them in a series of FW notes. I will create a "source" entry (these are sometimes "hearsay", but I tend to collect from highly regarded sources).

    The most knowledgeable living person on the planet for FW issues is Clark Frazier. I have learned a lot from him over the years. But trying to find exact numbers of definitive prints, if they are common, assume the numbers to be in the billions. I have a scale that I created some years ago to express the varying availability of FWs:

    Based on Used Values:
    Very Common - CV Under $25
    Common - Under $70
    Scarce - Under $500
    Very Scarce - Under $1,000
    Limited - Under $5,000
    Very Limited - Under $10,000
    Rare - Under $50,000
    Very Rare - Under $100,000
    Unique - No set value, but one of a kind

    This helps me rationalize their availability, rather than focusing on exact numbers printed.
    With my LBN series, I do have reasonably accurate counts, as it was easier to keep track of the numbers "back in the day" just based on orders, and before we started printing stamps in quantities over one billion.
  • Wow...that's really helpful, Scott.

    And I have an older USPS book(let) on quantities for the commemoratives, which is helpful for those issues...and as you say, the definitives are just sorta out there.

    "Postage Stamps of the United States 1847 - 1950", published in 1950.

    Your "scale" is quite helpful and pretty much what I've learned to live with, although I haven't defined specific values...your specific (rough) "pricing levels" will be very helpful.

    And, I'm guessing these dollar amounts are for singles, VF NH...?

    I didn't set out to collect WFs but have kinda been forced into it because I am attracted to the centerline blocks.

    Thanks again.
  • HT,
    Actually, for definitives in particular, used values are a better source for "scarcity". So this all uses used values. Generally speaking (except for some of the coils), the used value is lower than the MNH VF CV value.

    It's just meant to be a guide. And in that capacity, I think it does well.

    BTW, do you have our Franklin-Washington ID matrix? If not, (any one please feel free) to email me at and I will send it to you. It does require Excel to work, but it is a tool you will soon find you can't live without when working with FWs.
  • Thank you Scott :)
  • Scott's matrix is the best thing since sliced bread. Every time I use it, I wonder where it was when I got married.
  • LOL... that's an elevation I don't think I can live up to...

    I'm in the midst of writing an extensive tutorial on FWs. Its basis is the series of articles I've created here, but I'm editing and modifying/clarifying a few areas. It should be done in a day or two. I'll let you all know, and if you want a copy, I'll email it to you, just let me know if you are interested.
  • Thanks, Scott, I'm definitely interested in a copy of your tutorial on FWs.

  • Sent to you HT.
  • Received, thanks a bunch, Scott.
  • As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn't set out to collect FWs but have kinda been led into it because I am attracted to the centerline blocks.
    I've been working on correlating quantities issued and my subjective "rarity rating" for the FWs #343 thru #535.
    I'm happy to email anyone the excel spreadsheet with my "estimates" upon request.
    Additionally, any comments, criticisms, suggestions or praises are welcome. I'm certain there's much room for improvement.
    Thanks in advance,
  • Hey HT, send it to me if you would, and I'll take a look at it.
  • On the way.
  • Hi Scott,
    I was chatting with my son,Christopher, who (at age 28) finally got interested in Philately. Yay! If you are anywhere near the DC area, he would love to connect with you...If not, would it be OK for me to send him your WF spreadsheet?
    Thanks in advance,
  • Hi HT,
    I am in the DC area usually 2 - 3 times a year. I don't have a specific target for my next trip there, and likely is going to be next year some time (I've already been there twice this year). When I am in the area, it would be great to catch up.
    In the meantime, by all means, please do share the FW ID Matrix, and did I send you a copy of the full FW Guide? It's about 50 pages, contains all my information from the posts here, as well as some further clarity. Let me know, I can send you that too.
  • Hi Scott,
    Pleas let me know when next you are going to be in the DC area...would love to meet up.
    Yes, please send me your full FW
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