Dealing with limited storage space? Not feeling like Charles Atlas? Don’t have a truck and trailer? Check out smaller collectibles: You’ll find a category custom-made for you. Or you may find your niche in a broad category. Postage stamps are a great example of that. The U.S. Postal Service issued a series of first-class mail stamps depicting antique American-made weather vanes (as seen above). Other than a windmill or a barn, it’s hard to imagine a more enduring icon of rural America. Dip into the category, and you’ll find dozens of farm-related stamps from all over the world.
Here is more information from the U.S. Postal Service, along with details about the weather vanes found on the stamps:
The U.S. Postal Service has issued 45-cent Weather Vanes First-Class Mail stamps in five designs available in pressure-sensitive adhesive coils of 3,000 and 10,000. The stamps are available at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724.
Each of the five designs features a photograph of eye-catching 19th century weather vanes made in the United States. All the weather vanes featured are part of Shelburne Museum’s collection: a cow, an eagle, two roosters and a centaur. Sally Anderson-Bruce of New Milford, Ct., photographed the weather vanes under the art direction of Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C.
“These stamps are truly beautiful reminders of an era gone by,” said U.S. Postal Service Senior Manager, Post Office Operations Shawn Patton, while dedicating the stamps at Shelburne Museum. “We hope Americans will buy and use the stamps when communicating with friends, family and other loved ones.”
The cow weather vane was made of hammered sheet iron circa 1870 and was later found in Hardwick, Vt. Its manufacturer is unknown.
The eagle weather vane is made of sheet iron and dates from sometime in the 19th century. Its manufacturer is unknown.
The rooster with the thick, rounded tail was made between 1875 and 1900 by Rochester Iron Works in Rochester, N.H. This painted, cast iron weather vane resembles several others from the late 19th century originally found in the Boston area and now in the museum collections nationwide.
Made of copper, the centaur weather vane was found near New Haven, Ct., during the 1940s. It was made during the 19th century by a firm in Waltham, Mass., first known as A.L. Jewell and Co., then Cushing and White, then L.W. Cushing and Sons.
The rooster with the bushy tail feathers is made of carved, painted wood and is believed to have been created circa 1890 by James Lombard (1865 -1920), a farmer and woodcarver who lived in Bridgton, Maine. He specialized in hens and roosters that are often identifiable by their intricately cut tail feathers.
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Weather Vanes Stamp
495 Falls Road
Shelburne, VT 05482-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 20, 2012.
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
P.O. Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There is one philatelic product available for this stamp issue: 788963, First-Day Cover Set of 5, $4.45
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.