Benjamin Franklin Z-Grill
Benjamin Franklin Z Grill is a United States 1 cent postage stamp issued in 1868. History
The stamp arose as a result of the United States postal authorities’ concerns over postage stamp reuse, as it was noticed that stamp cancellation inks could be washed out easily. This was an important issue at this time as it was during the Civil War when coins were hoarded and the government made stamps legal tender in order to boost the economy.
To remedy this, United States postage stamps were embossed with tiny indentations that absorbed the cancellation ink, this process became known as “grilling” stamps.
The idea of grilling stamps had been credited to Charles F. Steel though his methods are not known.
Various sorts of grills and cancellations were tested. The Z-Grill formulation of downward points and horizontal ridges was the least effective and production was quickly stopped.
Today, only 2 examples of the postage stamp are known to exist. One is held in the New York Public Library and one is privately owned by collector Bill Gross.
An 1868 Benjamin Franklin Z-Grill stamp sold for $935,000 in 1988 to Donald Sundman, president of the Mystic Stamp Co.
Bill Gross acquired the stamp from Mystic Stamp Co, in 2005, in exchange for a block of four Inverted Jenny. In doing so Gross completed his US stamp collection..