Arago: Ericsson Memorial Issue

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Ericsson Memorial Issue

Congressman Carl R. Chindblom wrote Postmaster General Harry New on April 20, 1926, requesting that a commemorative stamp to John Ericsson (1803-1889) be issued on May 29. The issue would coincide with the unveiling of the Ericsson Memorial in Potomac Park, directly south of the Lincoln Memorial. Chindblom had already spoken with Third Assistant Postmaster General Robert Regar that same day, and he desired a follow-up meeting with New the next morning.

The postmaster general issued a formal letter on April 21, saying, "I confirm what I have said to you personally since your letter was written—that is, that the Department is preparing to issue a five-cent stamp of appropriate design." Work proceeded apace with Chindblom's request. The press release of May 3, 1926, announced the Ericsson stamp, modeled "similar to the . . . memorial statue designed by J. H. Fraser. The design is unique and distinctive in regard to its size and general appearance . . . an upright rectangle . . . with a narrow white border line all around, with exception of the top left corner (the U. S. Shield), and at the top right corner (the Swedish Shield)."

The central design featured the seated figure of John Ericsson "in white marble," and above and behind him, three figures representing Vision, Labor, and Adventure.

First day of sale locations were New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and in the District of Columbia.


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