Benjamin Franklin, 1706 -1790

January 17, 1706: Birthdate of Benjamin Franklin who wanted the great seal of the United States to depict the Israelites crossing the Red Sea and who responded to a fundraising request from Mikveh Israel with a contribution of £5.  Like many of his contemporaries, Franklin was a Deist who had his doubts about all organized religions, but covered his bases by responding to charitable requests from various Philadelphia religious organizations.

There are so many examples of Benjamin Franklin on postage stamps, so here are just a few:

This one is the first postage stamp issued by the United States in 1847.  Franklin established the first post office in the United States:

Benjamin Franklin #1 - 1847


The next example is a U.S. issue of 1861:

Benjamin Franklin #1a - 1861


This example is from 1908.  It is a common variety in its sheet-printed format and worth about $0.10 used, however there is a coil variety, of which a pair recently sold at auction for $80,000:

Benjamin Franklin #2 - 1908


And here is an example of the “Big Bens” issue of 1918:



Finally, pictured below is a First Day Cover (FDC) of a joint U.S. – Canada issue of 1976, honoring Franklin as the first postmaster general of the United States:

Benjamin Franklin #3 FDC of Jun 1 1976


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