Saturday, May 1, 2010

May celebration 1901

The Pan-American Exposition of the World's Fair held in Buffalo, New York was honored by the United States Postal Service celebrating then, modern technology.

Technical data...

Flat Plate printing, 200 Subject Plates, Double-line Watermark, Perforation 12 and designed by R. Ostrander Smith.


Vignette: 1¢ by G.F.C. Smillie, 2¢-10¢ by Marcus Baldwin and Lyman F. Ellis.

Frame: 1¢ by Robert Ponickau, 2¢-10¢ by Marcus Baldwin and Lyman F. Ellis.

Lettering and Numerals: Lyman F. Ellis.

The Pan-American Exposition Stamps of 1901

The 1¢ Fast Lake Navigation

The one cent stamp portrays the steamship "City of Alpena" which operated along the Great Lakes. The stamp was printed in two steps, first the vignette, the illustration of the steamship, was printed in black and then the frame surrounding it was printed in green.

The 2¢ Fast Express

The two cent stamp portrays the "Empire State Express" out of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads. Politics played a key role in the choice of the design, honoring a New York commercial venture.

The 4¢ Automobile

The four cent stamp portrays an electric automobile, or more appropriately an "Electric Vehicle Service" as illustrated in the turn of the century Baltimore and Ohio Railroad flyer from which the engraving of the stamp was based, complete with Capitol Dome in the background. There has been some debate as to whether this stamp was the first U.S. stamp to depict a living person. It is argued that the 2¢ Trans-Mississippi stamp holds that distinction and there is merit in Gary Griffith's argument that the two men depicted in the "front" seat are both chauffeurs and that the man in the passenger compartment is actually the "first living man" depicted on a U.S. stamp - Samuel P. Hege.

The 5¢ Bridge at Niagara Falls

The five cent stamp portrays what was then the largest single span steel bridge in the world, traversing the Niagara Falls. If you look closely you can see two trolley cars crossing the bridge linking the U.S. and Canada. Niagara Falls was of course an integral part of the World's Fair in Buffalo, and the hydroelectric power that it delivered turned on the spectacular "City of Lights", the most breath-taking display of electric light to date, and certainly one of the highlights of the Fair.

The 8¢ Canal Locks at Sault de Ste. Marie

The eight cent stamp portrays the canal locks at Sault de Ste. Marie. As with the "Bridge at Niagara Falls" stamp, this stamp illustrates a spirit of international co-operation, with the sister cities Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario sharing the honors. The locks were a great engineering feat and did much to promote commerce in the Midwest, providing navigational links between Lake Superior and Lake Huron and therefore the rest of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

The 10¢ Fast Ocean Navigation

The ten cent stamp portrays the American Liner steamship, St. Paul, with a touch of artistic license. The St. Paul's claim to fame was that it was the first commercial ship to be commissioned as a warship during the Spanish-American War, still fresh in the minds of the designers of this series.

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