The Department issued this 4-cent stamp to mark the conquest of the Arctic by surface and by sea through the Cresson, Pennsylvania, post office on April 6, 1959. The stamp marked the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Admiral Robert Edwin Peary at the North Pole. It also notes the history-making feat of the US Navy's "Nautilus" almost fifty years later in making the first under-the-sea crossing at the North Pole.
Designed by George Samerjan, the stamp features the upper portion of the globe, with the North Pole area emphasized. The global area is divided horizontally, with the light upper segment indicative of surface transportation and the dark lower portion representative of underwater exploration. Superimposed on the upper portion of the design is a man and his dog-drawn sled. Below is a view of the nuclear powered USS Nautilus. Across the top of the design and against an uncolored background is the inscription "Arctic Explorations." Directly below, to the right, is "1909" in dark Roman lettering, Above the Nautilus, to the left, is "1959," and below the submarine is "U.S. Postage," both in white Roman. The value "4c" appears at the lower right in dark Roman with white outline.
The stamp was printed by the rotary process, electric-eye perforated, and issued in panes of fifty stamps each. An initial printing of 120 million stamps was authorized.
Postal Bulletin (March 5, 1959)