Stamp Knowledge

US postage stamps: History inside the cars US postage stamps

US postage stamps
Denoting the prepayment of postal charges used to be the original purpose of US postage stamps, but so far, they have been used by the government as a public media to invite attention to various things like national beliefs and etc. Also, via US postage stamps, we can glimpse the significant event happening in the past.When discussing the US, you can avoid mentioning the word – Car.  Needless to say that in the US almost everyone gets a car ( According to statistics in the US 91.55% of households reported having access to at least one vehicle in 2020), and American manufacturers have completely dominated the automotive industry in the middle of the 20 century.So how does car culture reflect itself inside the US postage stamps?
  • The first car US postage stamp – Pan-American Exposition (1901)

The Pan-American Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Buffalo, New York, United States, from May 1 through November 2, 1901.In the words of McKinley, the United President at that time:Expositions are the timekeepers of progress. They record the world’s advancement. They stimulate the energy, enterprise, and intellect of the people; and quicken human genius. They go into the home. They broaden and brighten the daily life of the people. They open mighty storehouses of information to the student.To memorize the event, sets of US postage stamps named Pan-American Exposition were issued.The Car Stamps issued are also the earliest car stamp issued in the world.
Car Stamps

The car in the stamp was actually an electric car serving as a taxi at the early stage, with a speed of 40 kilometers per hour. It can travel approximately 120 kilometers on a single charge. In the car are the driver and the representative from the taxi company.

Although electric cars at that time dad already traveled around the city like New York and Washington. But in the early 20 century, there were steam, gasoline, and electric cars.

So why was the electric car chosen as the image of these Commemorative Stamps

Well, because among all these, electric cars were the most advanced without noise, violent vibration, and smelly scent. In another word, electric cars in the US recorded the world’s advancement.

And what makes the stamps special is that they are one of the first which used two colors overprinting (Overprint is when one color object overlaps another and is normally only used for special effects within a design).

Now, you can only get them from stamp dealers.

  • Antique Automobiles (1995)

In 1995, a set of 5 us postage stamps named  Antique Automobiles were issued, including different types of cars, even covering the earliest gasoline vehicle – DURYEA. Duryea Brothersinvented the first gasoline-powered automobile in America. In 1896 they assembled 13 cars like this and set up their own factory to produce the cars.

us postage stamp
If you are attentive enough, you can find that on the pedals, there are words DURYEA. 
  • Ford Motor -Great Americans Stamp Henry Ford (1965-1981)

The great inventor of Ford Motor – Henry Ford, is the chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. By creating the first automobile

that middle-class Americans could afford, he contributed a lot to the car culture of America.

In 1896, Ford attended a meeting of Edison executives, where he was introduced to Thomas Edison. In the same year, he built his first vehicle. Afterward, with the support of the capital of Detroit lumber baron William H. Murphy, Ford resigned from the Edison Company and founded the Detroit Automobile Company on August 5, 1899. 

 However, the automobiles produced were of a lower quality and higher price than Ford wanted. Ultimately, the company was not successful and was dissolved in January 1901.

In 1903 Ford set up his own company and in 1908 successfully invented the Model T. The Model T was colloquially known as the “Tin Lizzie”, “Leaping Lena” or “flivver”. Because of the introduction of assembly lines, the cost of the vehicles greatly decreased and became affordable for most Americans.

great americans stamp
Given that Henry Ford made a great contribution to the car industry in the US, from 1965 to 1981, sets of US postage stamps named Great Americans Stamp were issued. Henry Ford is one of them. We can see at the back of Ford is a Ford motor.
  • Classic Car Stamps (1988)

Since Henry Ford invented the Model T, more and more Ford Motor was produced and bought by Americans.The car manufacturer with high costs and were out of date gradually left the market. Although in the market most people use Ford cars, there are still a group of rich people who are fond of the classic car, the more expensive one.Sets of US postage stamps named Classic Car were issued in 1998, featuring 5 types of cars, including  :

Locomobilc

The Locomobile Company of America was a pioneering American automobile manufacturer founded in 1899. The company manufactured affordable, small steam cars until 1903, when production switched entirely to internal combustion-powered luxury automobiles

Pierce-Arrow

The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company was an American motor vehicle manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York, which was active from 1901 to 1938. And It is best known for its expensive luxury cars.

Cord

Cord was the brand name of an American luxury automobile company from Connersville, Indiana, manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company from 1929 to 1932 and again in 1936 and 1937.

Packard

Packard or Packard Motor Car Company was an American luxury automobile company located in Detroit, Michigan

Duesenberg

Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company, Inc. was an American racing and luxury automobile manufacturer founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, by brothers Frederick and August Duesenberg in 1920. You can find these sets on the Internet on eBay, and the price is $19.99.Beyond the US postage stamps, we can read their history. In my opinion, car culture in the US reflects not only inside the stamps but everywhere, like the American spirit -Liberty. People can travel to the places where they want thanks to the car, without much restriction. Just like Tata Safari ays- Reclaim Your Life.

Reference:

[1]Duryea Brothers-Wikipedia[2]Packard-Wikipedia

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