Arago: 4-cent Masaryk

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4-cent Masaryk

The United States Postal Service released two stamps honoring Thomas G. Masaryk (1850-1937), the first president of Czechoslovakia, on March 7, 1960, in Washington, DC. As with the preceding four pairs in the Champion of Liberty Series, one of the stamps paid the domestic letter rate (4-cent) and the other paid the international letter surface rate (8-cent).

Masaryk (1850-1937) led a movement for an independent Czechoslovakia during World War I that united Czechs and Slovaks. The independent state of Czechoslovakia was founded on October 28, 1918, and Masaryk served as its president until 1935.

The 4-cent Masaryk stamp, perforated 10 1/2 x 11, was printed on the rotary Cottrell press from 280-subject engraved plates. Each 280-subject sheet was cut into four panes of seventy stamps for distribution to post offices. Four plates were used: 26552, 26553, 26554, and 26555.

William K. Schrage of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing modeled the stamp using as inspiration a bust of Masaryk furnished by the United States Information Agency. Richard M. Bower engraved the portrait, torch, sprays of leaves, and ribbons. George A. Payne engraved the letting and numerals.

References:

Glass, Sol. Champion of Liberty - Masaryk. The Bureau Specialist 32, no. 7 (1961): 163.

Cleland, W. Wallace. Durland Standard Plate Number Catalog. Katy, Texas: United States Stamp Society, 2008.


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