Arago: Locomotives Issue

Locomotives Issue

A booklet of five 22-cent stamps featuring vintage locomotives was issued in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 1, 1987, the first day of National Stamp Collecting Month. The stamps were issued in booklets containing two panes each of the five designs.

The multicolored stamps, arranged vertically in the pane, are of the commemorative-size, "double-wide" horizontal type introduced in 1986 with the Flag Over the Capitol and Fish booklets.

The top stamp in the pane depicts the "Stourbridge Lion," which in 1829 was the first locomotive to run on tracks in America. The next stamp shows the "Best Friend of Charleston," which in 1830 was the first locomotive to pull a train in America, carrying ca. forty-five passengers at speeds up to 21 mph.

The middle stamp features the "John Bull," which first ran in 1831 and today exists as the oldest complete engine preserved in the United States. Below it is a stamp of the "Brother Jonathan," built in 1832 and reigned for many years as the world's fastest locomotive, credited with speeds up to 60 mph.

The bottom stamp commemorates the "Gowan and Marx," built in 1939 and so powerful it could haul forty times its own weight.

Designed by Richard Leech, the stamps were printed in the offset/intaglio process by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


Postal Bulletin (September 17, 1987).


Additional Records