US Stamps

By John M. Hotchner

Clown Lou Jacobs inspiration for 5¢ American Circus stamp

February 05, 2016 10:52 AM

  • This advertising mailing from a St. Louis carnival supply company is franked with the 1966 5¢ American Circus commemorative stamp, and also uses the stamp’s central design featuring a clown as a logo.
  • Compare this photograph of professional clown Lou Jacobs to the image on the American Circus stamp. There can be no doubt that he served as the model for the image on the stamp.

By John. M. Hotchner

Cover collecting has many facets, and one of the ways that United States stamp collectors can dip into that well is to find covers from companies that relate to stamp issues.

A great example is the St. Louis Carnival Supply Co. cover that reproduces the central design from the 1966 American Circus 5¢ commemorative (Scott 1309). That stamp also was used to mail this envelope.

The clown image on this stamp was modeled after Lou Jacobs (1903-92), who performed as a professional clown for more than 60 years.

Every professional clown has his or her individually crafted clown identity, and there is no doubt looking at the two images that the artist used Jacobs as a model.

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