Arago: Public Hospitals Issue

Public Hospitals Issue

A 22-cent commemorative stamp honoring public hospitals was issued on April 11, 1986, in New York City in conjunction with the 250th anniversary celebration of Bellevue Hospital Center.

Bellevue Hospital Center is the oldest existing public hospital in the US. The history of public hospitals can be traced back to the public almshouses of sixteenth century England and the volunteer hospitals that flourished there in the 1700s. The British colonies in America adopted this dual system of hospitals. Public spirited citizens opened voluntary hospitals in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

Uldis Purins of Newton, Massachusetts, designed the Public Hospitals stamp, which features an abstract design of a modern hospital and a blue and white service sign with the letter "H" symbolizing hospital. At the top of the stamp design, printed in white, are the words "Public Hospitals" followed by "USA" and the denomination "22" in large type.

The stamps were printed in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Co., and issued in panes of fifty.


Postal Bulletin (March 13, 1986).

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