To Mail a Letter in 1847 Could Cost a Day's Pay
Tebben goes on to say, "The 5- and 10-cent stamps were used to prepay postage. The light brown, 5-cent stamp, which pictured Benjamin Franklin, would carry a letter weighing up to a half-ounce for up to 300 miles. The black 10-cent stamp, which pictured George Washington, was good for greater distances."
"At a time when the laborers digging Ohio’s canals were paid just $5 a month, that postage could rival a day’s wages," Tebben points out.
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