The Penny Black stamp was printed from 11 different plates, although plate 1 was overhauled due to wear, with the earlier plate referred to as 1a and the replacement referred to as 1b. Few black penny stamps were printed using plate 11, which was primarily used for red stamps.
Production of the Penny Black stamp began in 1840. It was the first public postage stamp to include an adhesive. The stamps were printed on unperforated sheets and featured the profile of Queen Victoria. Their black ink and one-penny price gave them the name "Penny Black." The postal service produced over 68 million Penny Blacks.