The U.S. Postal Service today issued the 45-cent “weathervanes first-class mail stamps in five designs featuring a photograph of eye-catching 19th century weathervanes made in the United States. All the weathervanes featured are part of Shelburne Museum’s collection: a cow, an eagle, two roosters and a centaur. Sally Anderson-Bruce of New Milford, Conn., photographed the weathervanes under the art direction of Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.
“These stamps are truly beautiful reminders of an era gone by,” said U.S. Postal Service Senior Manager, Post Office Operations Shawn Patton, while dedicating the stamps at Shelburne Museum. “We hope Americans will buy and use the stamps when communicating with friends, family and other loved ones.”
Joining Patton in dedicating the stamps were Kory Rogers, Curator of Design Arts, stamp photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce and Deborah Blondin, Postmaster, Shelburne.
The Weather Vanes
The cow weathervane was made of hammered sheet iron circa 1870 and was later found in Hardwick, VT. Its manufacturer is unknown.
- The eagle weather vane is made of sheet iron and dates from sometime in the 19th century. Its manufacturer is unknown.
- The rooster with the thick, rounded tail was made between 1875 and 1900 by Rochester Iron Works in Rochester, N.H. This painted, cast iron weathervane resembles several others from the late 19th century originally found in the Boston area and now in the museum collections nationwide.
- Made of copper, the centaur weathervane was found near New Haven, Conn., during the 1940s. It was made during the 19th century by a firm in Waltham, Mass., first known as A.L. Jewell and Co., then Cushing and White, then L.W. Cushing and Sons.
- The rooster with the bushy tail feathers is made of carved, painted wood and is believed to have been created circa 1890 by James Lombard (1865 -1920), a farmer and woodcarver who lived in Bridgton, ME. He specialized in hens and roosters that are often identifiable by their intricately cut tail feathers.
The weathervanes stamps — as well as many of this year’s other stamps — may be viewed on Facebook, through Twitter or on the website Beyond the Perf. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to collect First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks from the post office
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to: Weather Vanes Stamp, Postmaster , 495 Falls Rd ., Shelburne, VT 05482-9998
Read more: Vintage post mark collector makes his mark
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 20, 2012. The stamps are available in pressure-sensitive adhesive coils of 3,000 and 10,000.
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