The lower left 13 key
While engraving the 13¢ die, Nathaniel Dearborn of Holland Printing Company in
Boston must have set the figures "1" and "3" in the lower left box too shallow.
When he entered the plate, these figures apparently failed to make proper grooves
in the plate for the ink to fill so the figures failed to print. Dearborn had to
enter each figure manually for each of the twenty plate positions. Finding a key
to plating the 13¢ eluded collectors until the mid-Twentieth Century when Dr.
Robert C. H. Lee of Honolulu printed his study of the differences in each of the
figures of the lower left box. [Lee, Dr. Robert C.H.,
"Hawaii, The Boston Engraved Issue", The American Philatelist, Vol. 66, No.
8 , p. 601-607, May, 1953; No. 10 , p. 759-764, July, 1953.]
The plate consisted of twenty positions laid out four across and five down. Shown
for each position is the lower left 13: