The Eighteen-cent Prexie
Ulysses S. Grant, who served two terms as the eighteenth President of the United States despite widespread government corruption in his administrations, is featured on the eighteen-cent Presidential stamp. The likeness came from a statue by Franklin Simmonds that stands in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. Eighteen-cent Prexies were issued in sheet format only. They were first released on November 3, 1938. A total of 170,350,800 were issued through 1956.
Solo eighteen-cent Prexies were most commonly used to pay the postage and fee for a registered first class letter until the registry fees were raised in March of 1944. During the same period, eighteen cents covered the minimum registry fee plus the return receipt fee on free official mail sent from outside Washington, DC. Eighteen cents was also the rate for a registered letter to Canada, Newfoundland, or any PUAS country until 1945.
Special delivery airmail letters cost eighteen cents at the eight-cent airmail rate until November, 1944, and at the five-cent airmail rate from October 1946 until the end of 1948. From the middle of April of 1939 until November 1 of the same year the rate applied to Canada as well, and again from October 1946 until the end of 1948.
Special delivery surface mail cost eighteen cents from the first of 1949 until 1952. The same rate applied to Canada.
A certified letter cost eighteen cents from roughly the middle of 1955 until the middle of 1957.
Multiple charges can also result in use of a solo eighteen-cent prexie.