Hi Stan --
Regarding your cover with the blue "MAD RIV.&LAK.ERIE R.R." CDS -- the one with the missing date slug -- and where the stamp has a straight-line "FREE" handstamp cancel -- I have not looked closely at your stamp -- but based on the GD positioning -- I think you probably meant 24R1E versus 24R1i (the old "left / right" transposition that all of us platers make from time to time).
Your stamp notwithstanding -- here are some general comments on separating out stamps from the Early versus the Intermediate states of Plate 1.
As an aside -- All of what I have to say on this subject is based on having looked at thousands of these stamps over many years -- and having been fortunate enough to have been mentored by a number of well-known platers. Still, everything is just my opinion. Others may have different opinions -- and should weigh in accordingly. Against that back-drop -- here goes:
Generally speaking -- The only difference between the Early and Intermediate states of the plate is due to re-entry. Consequently, determining the state of the plate often involves having a basic understanding of the re-entry production process -- and, likewise, being able to identify evidence of re-entry on a printed stamp. Often, this exercise requires having multiple reference copies (or high-resolution scans) of the applicable position from both states of the plate -- and then examining them closely to compare and identify the differences.
Sometimes the differences are obvious. For example -- many of the stamps in the top row were originally entered onto the Early state of the plate with one relief -- but then re-entered onto the Inter state of the plate with a different relief -- making it very easy to identify the state of the plate. On the other hand -- there are some positions where making the determination can be frustratingly difficult -- and in some cases, not possible.
Part of what makes the whole 1E versus 1i subject so complicated is that there are 4 factors at play -- First, there is the impact of re-entry (more on this below) -- but on top of that there are 3 other factors that can distort things -- namely differences in inking, impression, and plate wear.
By way of background -- When Chase started plating the 10/11 stamps, there wasn't much info available about how the plates were made. He was more or less "flying blind" when it came to telling the states apart. If you look at the Chase book, on pages 86 and 89, respectively, he states that "the plate of course showed no wear while in this state' (1 Early), and "the plate showed no wear while in this state" (1 intermediate). Of course, we now know that the reason the plate was re-entered is BECAUSE it got worn, as stamps from 1E and 1i sometimes show extreme plate wear.
From looking at a lot of Chase-plated stamps from 1E and 1i, it can be concluded that Chase believed a very worn stamp meant it was the intermediate state. Most of the Chase errors of plating on 1 Early and 1 Inter (as documented on the USPCS website) are all due to worn plate impressions. I think we'd need to see the actual stamps from the photos to really tell which state they are (color sometimes being a good guide). There is also the problem of how well the photos picked up the really fine detail of the engraved lines.
FYI -- Link to the listing of Chase plating errors on the USPCS website is here:https://www.uspcs.org/stamps-covers...late-errors/
Bottom line -- with examples from 1E and 1i which are from worn plates, it becomes difficult to be sure of which state of the plate a stamp came from because the features which help us identify each state have mostly worn away. Additionally -- as noted above -- further complicating everything is that plating characteristics can be impacted (i.e., distorted) to varying degrees by differences in inking and impression.
Regarding differences in states due to re-entry -- one important aspect is what a re-entry does to existing recut lines. On 1E, for instance, FL's and many IL's were recut after the plate was made. If you think of these as various 'V' cuts into the plate (made with a graver), the wider (and deeper) the cut was, the more ink the grooves hold.
These recut grooves are deeper into the plate than the transferred design. As the plate wears, both get weaker, and the recuts tend to stand out more from the normal design.
Now what happens to the recut lines when the transfer roll re-enters the normal design? The recut lines tend to get a little pressed out. Some become quite faint. Additionally, the original (weak) FL's are again impressed into the plate, often not quite lining up with those lines recut initially, often resulting in some doubling of the FL's and/or IL's. You really see this on Plates 10 and 11, the 26A stamps, where there was a third entry and no recutting done on after the Early state.
Chase's comments about 1E and 1i being plated from each other are true. It is the bending of the recut lines which are unique enough on each state to identify the position (if not the state) in the majority of positions. Thus, he didn't have to find a multiple in each state in order to do the original reconstruction of 1E and 1i.
Bottom line -- differences in inking, impression, and plate wear not withstanding -- On Inter state the FL's, IL's, and other recuts are typically "weaker" and/or "fuzzier" in comparison to Early state. Likewise -- there may be some consistent doubling in the FL's and IL's (albeit usually very faint) on Inter state that is not present on Early state.
Other general differences between Early state and Inter state that often resulted from the re-entry process when Plate 1E became Plate 1i -- and can be very helpful (but not individually conclusive) in analyzing the state of the plate -- can include:
-- On Inter state -- the outer ring of dots in the ULR opposite the hypotenuse of the ULT are often "fatter" in comparison to Early state.
-- On Inter state -- if the stamp has a GD it will often be "fatter" in comparison to Early state.
-- On Inter state there is typically more color saturation in the triangles versus Early state -- but the clarity of the finely engraved lines of the triangles on Inter state is typically not as sharp as seen on Early state.
Again -- as noted above -- in analyzing the differences between the Early and Intermediate states of Plate 1, sound judgement must be exercised -- as the plating characteristics can be impacted (i.e., distorted) to varying degrees by differences in inking, impression, and plate wear.
Don't know if any of this helps you -- or just creates many more questions -- or both -- but it is nonetheless a summary of much of what I have learned over the years and hopefully is of some value to you and to the 3-cent plating community at large.
Regards // ioagoa