Although Georgia’s Tybee Island Lighthouse is one of the states most popular tourist attractions, the release of the new postage stamp depicting the historic lighthouse, is sure to help increase its popularity. Although it was a hot day, the lighthouse, which was chosen as the spot for the First Day of Issue Ceremony for the new Southeastern Lighthouse postage stamps, was ready for the crowds of lighthouse and stamp aficionados.
The release of the lighthouse postage stamps was considered by lighthouse preservationists as something that was highly needed to keep lighthouses in the publics eye at a time when donations for preservation are at an all time low for most lighthouse projects.
“Stamps have always celebrated important events and themes, said Ralph J. Moen, senior vice president, Government Relations for the U.S. Postal Service and the stamp dedicating official. “Stamps remind us of what is unique about our nation—our people, our innovation, our heritage. With these stamps we commemorate five symbols of our maritime heritage, the Southeastern lighthouses. Spanning the coast of the United States from Virginia to southern Florida, these structures typify the beauty and colorful history of the structures that have protected sailors along our shores.”
A First Day of Issue Ceremony means that the postage stamps are only available on that day and do not go on sale in the rest of the country until the following normal work day.
The day after the First Day of Issue Ceremony special events were held at other lighthouses whose images appear on the other postage stamps. Besides Tybee Island Light the other lighthouse stamps featured the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, in Fort Story, Virginia which is the first lighthouse built by the federal government, Cape Lookout Light on Core Banks along the Cape Lookout National Seashore near Beaufort, NC, Morris Island Light at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, SC and Hillsboro Light which was first erected in Detroit Michigan then disassembled and ship and reassembled near Pompano Beach, Florida in 1907.
The five stamps feature five original acrylic paintings by artist Howard Koslow of Toms River, NJ based on recent photographs of the structures. The previous lighthouse stamps were also from paintings done by Koslow.
An interesting footnote would be that all the new lighthouse postage stamps contain Scrambled Indicia(r) hidden images that—when viewed through the official U.S. Postal Service Stamp Decoder (tm)—reveals the year dates in which the lighthouse were built. The U.S. Postal Stamp Decoder (tm) is a decoder lens manufactured especially for reading hidden images and symbols in selected postage stamp issues. The decoder is available from the Post Office through its web site www.usps.com/shop or by calling 1-800-STAMP24.
This story appeared in the
August 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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