March 3, 1847, and the Postmaster-General instantly let a agreement to the New York City firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch, and Edson. The first stamp issues of the US were offered for sale on July 1, 1847, in NYC, with Boston receiving stamps the following year and other cities subsequently. They consisted of an engraved 5-cent red brown stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin, and a 10-cent value in black with George Washington. As for all US stamps until 1857, they were imperforate. Although a number of philatelists have studied these stamps for years, much remains unknown about the facts of the original contract, design process, and the printing of these stamps.1 cent, 1851, type IIThe post office had become so well-organized by 1851 that Congress was able to condense the common rate to three cents, necessitating a new issue of stamps. Values integrated a 1c profile of Franklin in blue, a 3c profile of Washington in red brown, a 5c portrait of Thomas Jefferson, and portraits of Washington for 10c green and 12c black values. The 1c stamp achieved disrepute, at least among philatelists, because production problems led to considerable plate modifications, and there are no less than seven major varieties, ranging in price from $100 to $200,000, and sharp-eyed collectors occasionally find the rare types going unrecognized.Civil war The outbreak of the American Civil War threw the postal system into turmoil. On April 13, 1861 John H. Reagan, postmaster-general of the Confederate States of America, ordered local postmasters to return their US stamps to Washington DC, while in May the Union decided to withdraw and invalidate all existing US stamps, and to issue new stamps. Associate post offices were left without genuine stamps for several months, and while many reverted to the old system of cash payment at the post office, over one hundred post offices across the South came up with their own temporary issues. Many of these are quite rare, with only single examples existing of some types. Ultimately the Confederate government issued its own stamps; see stamps and postal history of the Confederate States.