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TRAINS ON U. S. STAMPS
and POSTAL STATIONERY
page 9a


Embossed postcard with train image - 20th Century Limited

29¢ LOCOMOTIVES BOOKLET ISSUE - July 28, 1994


Sc. 2843-47 - issued 7/28/94

Sc. 2843-47 booklet cover

This very attractive booklet pane reproduced images of five locomotives from what I would term the "early maturity" of the steam locomotive in the U.S. I think of that era as analogous to the early 20's in human terms, the years from the 1850's to the 1890's, during which the trans-continental railroad was completed, and railroad travel became an integral part of American life. Each locomotive was chosen as representative of one decade from that period. The text on the backs of the Fleetwood FDCs below provide that firm's usual excellent historical and cultural context for each stamp.

You may have guessed by now that I am not an expert on trains - most of the technical data on these pages has been on the text of the FDCs I have reproduced. My attractions to this topic have to do with its emotional connection to my childhood and to an era long before our time when trains were the primary transportation mode for most of the world's people; and with the philatelic history the stamps can illustrate. So as I have reached the years of the past couple of decades on these pages, I have found I have less and less to say. The stamps, no matter how well they are designed and produced - and this issue scores high on those aspects - are too modern, and too contrived. It becomes increasingly obvious that their purpose is to entertain, rather than to communicate something significant about who we are today. The graphic appeal of FDCs increases too - modern FDC makers have at their disposal an amazing variety of tools to create beautiful, interesting designs - but the philatelic appeal of those is hard to find.


Sc. 2843-47 FDC by S&C Cachets

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by S&C Cachets

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by S&C Cachets


Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

Sc. 2843-47 FDC by Fleetwood

US TRAINS
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Revised -- 03/22/2001