The Half-cent Prexie
The first stamp in the Presidential series does not picture a president, but Benjamin Franklin.
Half-cent stamps were first issued May 19, 1938, in Philadelphia. Only sheet stamps were produced. A total of 2,028,847,800 were delivered from 1938 through 1956.
Half-cent stamps were overprinted for use in the Canal Zone. The first shipment of these was on July 20, 1939 and the final was on July 24, 1946. A total of 993,643 were sold and the remainder destroyed.
There were no postal rates less than one cent total during the Prexie period. A valid single use of the half-cent stamp will involve a stamped envelope, postal card or other form of additional postage. The stamps were also used as "change" when a fractional postage due amount was collected.