1996 32c Folk Heroes: Pecos Bill

# 3086 - 1996 32c Folk Heroes: Pecos Bill

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US #3086
1996 Pacos Bill

  • Part of set of four featuring characters from American Folklore

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Folk Heroes
Value:  32¢, First-class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  July 11, 1996
First Day City:  Anaheim, California
Quantity Issued:  23,687,500
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (5 across, 4 down) from plates of 120 subjects (8 across, 15 down)
Perforations:  11.1

Why the stamp was issued:  The set of four Folk Heroes stamps were issued to celebrate folklore characters of America.

About the stamp design:  The stamp artwork was made by Dave LaFleur, a commercial illustrator.  His style is similar to murals and posters created during the New Deal era in America and Soviet propaganda art.  LeFleur’s characters show strength through their thick necks and strong jaws.  For his portraits, LaFleur didn’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s illustrations, so he read their stories in books without illustrations to develop his own images of the men. He painted the Folk Heroes using oil paints rather than acrylics or watercolors used for most stamp art.
Initially, the USPS had tasked Dave LaFleur with painting six folk heroes “ the four that were issued as well as Johnny Appleseed and Rip Van Winkle.  They liked his paintings but decided to make it a set of four. Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Mighty Casey were chosen to be portrayed.  

First Day City:  The Folk Heroes stamps were issued on the opening day of the American Stamp Dealers Association’s Postage Stamp Mega-Event, held in Anaheim, California.  Actors portraying the four characters featured on the stamps were in attendance at the ceremony.

Unusual fact about these stamps:  The Folk Heroes stamps weren’t the first to feature characters from American folklore.  In 1966, the US Post Office Department began issuing stamps in the American Folklore series.  These highlighted Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Grandma Moses, and Tom Sawyer, as well as Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

About the Folk Heroes stamps:
This set of four commemorates some of the greatest heroes of American folklore.  These four men were known for their super human strength and size, with a personality to match.

History of this stamp: Pecos Bill: America's First Cowboy
Pecos Bill was the first and best cowboy that ever was.  He was the smartest, bravest, and most courageous of the men who tamed the wild American West.
As an infant, legendary Pecos Bill was lost near the Pecos River in Texas.  Luckily, coyotes adopted him and raised him as their own.  The first human Bill met was his brother, who named him Pecos Bill and took him to live at Hell's Gate Gulch Ranch.
Pecos Bill adjusted quickly to human ways and soon lassoed himself a feisty horse he named "Lightning" or "Widow Maker," depending on the story.  The men asked Pecos Bill to run the ranch and teach them what he knew.  Thus, cowboys learned to lasso and break a horse, how to cowpunch, rope cattle, ride herd, and hold a roundup.  Though Pecos Bill had solutions for every problem, he always credited his coyote family for his abilities and knowledge.
As the years went by, cowboys around the fire embellished the feats and daring of Pecos Bill.  So it is we have stories of him digging the Rio Grande, wrestling bears, taming mountain lions for fun, and riding cyclones bareback.
Edward O'Reilly published "The Saga of Pecos Bill" in 1923.  Many stories of America's first cowboy followed.

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US #3086
1996 Pacos Bill

  • Part of set of four featuring characters from American Folklore

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Folk Heroes
Value:  32¢, First-class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  July 11, 1996
First Day City:  Anaheim, California
Quantity Issued:  23,687,500
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (5 across, 4 down) from plates of 120 subjects (8 across, 15 down)
Perforations:  11.1

Why the stamp was issued:  The set of four Folk Heroes stamps were issued to celebrate folklore characters of America.

About the stamp design:  The stamp artwork was made by Dave LaFleur, a commercial illustrator.  His style is similar to murals and posters created during the New Deal era in America and Soviet propaganda art.  LeFleur’s characters show strength through their thick necks and strong jaws.  For his portraits, LaFleur didn’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s illustrations, so he read their stories in books without illustrations to develop his own images of the men. He painted the Folk Heroes using oil paints rather than acrylics or watercolors used for most stamp art.
Initially, the USPS had tasked Dave LaFleur with painting six folk heroes “ the four that were issued as well as Johnny Appleseed and Rip Van Winkle.  They liked his paintings but decided to make it a set of four. Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Mighty Casey were chosen to be portrayed.  

First Day City:  The Folk Heroes stamps were issued on the opening day of the American Stamp Dealers Association’s Postage Stamp Mega-Event, held in Anaheim, California.  Actors portraying the four characters featured on the stamps were in attendance at the ceremony.

Unusual fact about these stamps:  The Folk Heroes stamps weren’t the first to feature characters from American folklore.  In 1966, the US Post Office Department began issuing stamps in the American Folklore series.  These highlighted Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Grandma Moses, and Tom Sawyer, as well as Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

About the Folk Heroes stamps:
This set of four commemorates some of the greatest heroes of American folklore.  These four men were known for their super human strength and size, with a personality to match.

History of this stamp: Pecos Bill: America's First Cowboy
Pecos Bill was the first and best cowboy that ever was.  He was the smartest, bravest, and most courageous of the men who tamed the wild American West.
As an infant, legendary Pecos Bill was lost near the Pecos River in Texas.  Luckily, coyotes adopted him and raised him as their own.  The first human Bill met was his brother, who named him Pecos Bill and took him to live at Hell's Gate Gulch Ranch.
Pecos Bill adjusted quickly to human ways and soon lassoed himself a feisty horse he named "Lightning" or "Widow Maker," depending on the story.  The men asked Pecos Bill to run the ranch and teach them what he knew.  Thus, cowboys learned to lasso and break a horse, how to cowpunch, rope cattle, ride herd, and hold a roundup.  Though Pecos Bill had solutions for every problem, he always credited his coyote family for his abilities and knowledge.
As the years went by, cowboys around the fire embellished the feats and daring of Pecos Bill.  So it is we have stories of him digging the Rio Grande, wrestling bears, taming mountain lions for fun, and riding cyclones bareback.
Edward O'Reilly published "The Saga of Pecos Bill" in 1923.  Many stories of America's first cowboy followed.