This American Stamp

As some readers might know, Neither Snow offers a vintage postage finding service. I will work with clients to create a suite of postage that matches the colors or themes of their correspondence. Lately I've been inspired to get especially creative and tell little narratives on each envelope. I am excited to announce a forthcoming project that highlights this service for winter 2010. But for now I'd like to tell you a little bit about my passion for vintage postage and postal stationery.

Whenever I sift through old postage I am constantly amazed by America. The feeling is not unlike what I felt last November when Barack Obama was elected president. I experienced complete astonishment. "What, what country is this? I thought I knew America, but I don't really. How could we make this happen?" I am constantly surprised by this country, and with each surprise I feel a greater sense of patriotism and pride.

US postage is one area that never ceases to surprise me. On our postage, we have commemorated and celebrated some truly extraordinary and quirky people, places, things, ideas and events. Sometimes I think about the series of events that went in to creating these miniature canvases with a gummy back: thinking up the thing to commemorate, finding a designer, creating a clear design, rallying public support. Each stamp is like a mini lesson in history. I often think about creating a history curriculum for visual learners based on the country's stamps.

So for the next month I'm going to highlight some of the stamps in my collection that can be characterized as surprising and noteworthy.