By Michael Baadke
Four classic American pickup trucks from four different decades are featured on a new set of stamps from the United States Postal Service.
The nondenominated (47¢) Pickup Trucks forever stamps will be issued July 15 in Syracuse, N.Y., and nationwide.
USPS Chief Human Resource Officer Jeff Williamson will be the dedicating official at a 1 p.m. first-day ceremony taking place during the Syracuse Nationals Car Show at the New York State Fairgrounds Horticultural Center, 581 State Fair Blvd., in Syracuse.
The four stamps will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20, which the Postal Service refers to as a booklet. Each stamp features an illustration by graphic artist Chris Lyons, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Graphic Design and the School of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.
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USPS art director Antonio Alcala is credited as designer and typographer.
The oldest of the four trucks depicted on the stamps is a red 1938 International Harvester D-2. Though known for its heavy trucks and farm equipment, International Harvester produced pickup trucks beginning in 1907, and continued to do so into the 1970s. The six-cylinder D-2, introduced in 1937 and manufactured in Springfield, Ohio, offered a roomy cab, a stylish swept-back grille, and a split-V windshield.
Ford introduced its F-series trucks as its “Bonus Built Line” in 1948, and these early models are represented on the new stamps with a dark green 1948 Ford F-1 ½-ton pickup. The truck had an upgraded “million-dollar” cab, a single-piece windshield and integrated headlights, and was available with a six- or eight-cylinder engine.
Next up is a cream 1953 Chevrolet Advance Design series pickup powered by a six-cylinder engine and complete with a large windshield and curved grille. The truck shown on the stamp includes the optional side-mounted spare tire.
The youngster of the group is the turquoise 1965 Ford F-100, a ½-ton truck manufactured when Ford introduced its twin I-Beam suspension with coil springs (on the stamp, the I-Beam emblem is visible in front of the driver’s side door). The 1965 F-100 was available with a standard six-cylinder engine or an optional 352-cubic-inch V-8.
The initial large print quantity of 250 million stamps indicates that the Postal Service plans to have these stamps readily available in post offices nationwide.
Along with the double-sided pane of 20 stamps, collectors can order a press sheet with die cuts that includes eight double-sided panes, or 160 stamps, for $75.20. A print quantity of 2,000 press sheets was ordered by the USPS.
Here are technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the Pickup Trucks stamps:
FIRST DAY— July 15, 2016; city— Syracuse, N.Y., and nationwide.
DESIGN: artist — Chris Lyons, Pittsford, N.Y.; designer, art director and typographer— Antonio Alcala, Alexandria, Va.; modelers— Sandra Lane and Michelle Finn.
PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black, Pantone Matching System 7 cool gray; paper— phosphor tagged, block tagging; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 250 million stamps; format— four designs in double-sided pane of 20, from 800-subject cylinders; size— 1.05 inches by 0.77 inches (image); 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches (overall); 2.375 inches by 5.743 inches (full pane); 11.486 inches by 9.5 inches (press sheet); plate numbers— “B” followed by five single digits; marginal markings— Plate numbers, “©2015 USPS”; USPS item No.— 680904.
Standard ordering instructions apply. Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Pickup Trucks Stamps, Postmaster, 5640 E. Taft Road, Syracuse, NY 13220-9810.
Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by Sept. 15.
The Postal Service’s set of four uncacheted first-day covers for the Pickup Trucks stamps is item 680916 at $3.64. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2016 U.S. Stamp Program.