What goes around the world, while remaining in its corner

My son had a riddle for me the other day…

“What goes around the world, while remaining in its corner…?”
I answered… “a dutiful sailor !?!?!”
“No, silly!”, he said, “its a stamp !”

This Month the United States Postal Service will officially unveil four new stamps to highlight the Merchant Marine. They will make the launch on July 28th, and if you are near New York City, you are welcome to attend… below is the press release and a description of the vessels depicted.

The Postal Service will salute the U.S. Merchant Marine on four forever stamps July 28 at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend the 11:30 a.m. dedication ceremony that takes place in the Ackerman Auditorium, 300 Steamboat Rd.

Since the founding of the republic, the United States has looked to the commercial maritime industry for much of its growth and security. This issuance pays tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine, the modern name for the maritime fleet that has played this vital role. The four-stamp design on this pane features types of vessels that have formed an important part of this history: clipper ships, auxiliary steamships, Liberty ships, and container ships.

U.S. Merchant Marine stamp

Since the founding of the republic, the United States has looked to the commercial maritime industry for much of its growth and security. This stamp issuance pays tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine, the modern name for the maritime fleet that has played this vital role. The four-stamp design on this pane features types of vessels that have formed an important part of this history: clipper ships, auxiliary steamships, Liberty ships, and container ships. The stamps go on sale in July.

Illustrator Dennis Lyall of Norwalk, CT, created the stamps under the art direction of Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA.

Since colonial times, America’s merchant ships have plied the oceans and other navigable waters conveying goods and passengers. During wartime, they have also helped deliver troops and war materials. This role was formalized shortly before World War II, when legislation empowered the “U.S. Merchant Marine” to serve as a naval auxiliary unit. During World War II, the U.S. Merchant Marine bore the brunt of delivering military supplies overseas to U.S. forces and allies. Today, it continues to help meet the nation’s security needs while also transporting commodities that sustain the American economy.

Clipper ships, ushered in by the California Gold Rush of 1849 and noted for their streamlined shape and majestic cloud of square-rigged sails, set numerous speed records for their time.

Auxiliary steamships—steam-powered ships with back-up sailing rigs— were the ocean liners of their day, competing in the 1850s with clipper and other sailing ships for transatlantic mail and passenger service.

Liberty Ships – During World War II, the United States built more than 2,700 Liberty ships, plain but sturdy cargo vessels that sustained the Allied forces with a steady supply of food and war material.

Container ships, pioneered in the 1950s, are the lifeblood of today’s global economy, carrying nearly all the world’s manufactured goods across the oceans and exemplifying the modern merchant marine.

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