Plate 1E was printing stamps several weeks before the first stamps were issued to the public on July 1, 1851. Dr. Chase says that the first 300,000 stamps from this plate were delivered by printing contractors to the government on June 21, 1851, and that all other deliveries prior to about the middle of July, 1851, came from Plate 1E. Dr. Chase estimates that Plate 1E was used until about the end of the first week of July, 1851, when it was softened, and reentered, thus resulting in the intermediate state, Plate 1i. Approximately 2,267,800 stamps (11,339 impressions) were printed from Plate 1E. All of the stamps on Plate 1E are Orange Brown. The plate showed no wear, so impressions are clear; however, they are faint. Refer to Dr. Chase's book The 3¢ Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue for the full story of Plate 1E.
Plate 1E - Earliest Use July 1, 1851; Used for 1 1/2 Months; 11,339 impressions/2,267,800 stamps/0.63% of issued; 64 Scott 10, 136 Scott 10A:
Chase - Plate 1E:
Images are provided courtesy of Smithsonian's National Postal Museum