1996 32c Riverboats: Robert E. Lee

# 3091 - 1996 32c Riverboats: Robert E. Lee

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US #3091
1996 Robert E. Lee

  • From set of five picturing historic riverboats
  • First US commemorative to bey issued only in self-adhesive format
  • The boats represent all regions of the US

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Riverboats
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  August 22, 1996
First Day City:  Orlando, Florida
Quantity Issued:  32,000,000
Printed by:  Avery Dennison
Printing Method:  Photogravure
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from printing cylinders of 200 (10 across, 20 down)
Perforations:  Die-cut simulated

Why the stamp was issued:  The Riverboats stamps were issued to commemorate an important form of transportation along America’s inland waterways. 

About the stamp design:  The artwork for the Riverboat stamps was done by Dean Ellis.  His gouache (opaque watercolor) paintings were larger than those usually made for stamps because he wanted to show the details of each ship.  The backgrounds on the stamps reflect the regions of the US where the boats sailed.  Kevin Foster, a maritime historian with the US National Park Service, was consulted to assure the images were historically accurate.

Special design details:  Though the names of each riverboat appears on the boat, it  is difficult to read them because of their small size and because photogravure printed is relatively course.

About the printing process:  The Riverboat stamps were the first to be printed exclusively as self-adhesive stamps.  Previous issues were produced in both self-adhesive and water-activated gum formats.
The die-cut simulated perforations went through the backing paper as well as the stamp.  This allowed postal clerks to divide up the pane for individual sale.  Collectors could also easily save the stamps with the backing paper attached.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated at Stampshow 96, which took place in Orlando, Florida.

About the Riverboats set:  Picturing five riverboats from the turn of the century - Robert. E. Lee, Sylvan Dell, Far West, Rebecca Everingham, and Bailey Gatzert - these stamps represent a bygone era.  Chosen for their historical significance as well as their visual appeal, the boats represent five different regions.  All were in service around the turn of the 20th century and were efficient means to transport goods and passengers.
This set is patterned after a 1989 issue of five Steamboats (US #2405-09).

History the stamp represents: 
Robert E. Lee: Some of the finest, most glamorous steamboats ever built sailed the mighty Mississippi.  None is more celebrated than the Robert E. Lee, winner of a fearsome race with the Natchez, immortalized in Roy Barkhau’s “The Great Steamboat Race,” and in a Currier & Ives’ painting.
Mississippi boats were broad but required shallow keels and powerful engines to navigate the strong but shallow currents.  The Robert E. Lee was 285 feet long, 47 feet wide, and weighed over 1,450 tons. Each of its eight boilers was 42 inches high and 28 feet long. Together the eight engines produced the 120 pounds of steam necessary to turn the Lee’s two 30-foot sidewheels. 
In 1866, Captain John Cannon of New Orleans commissioned Hoosiers in New Albany, Indiana, to build this steamboat, but delayed christening it until it was safe in a Kentucky port. Because it was to operate between New Orleans and Vicksburg, he named it the Robert. E. Lee.
Though fire and shifting sandbars quickly destroyed many western steamboats, they were nonetheless enormously profitable, paying for themselves in 22 weeks. Like others, the Lee was short-lived, hitting a sandbar in 1874.  Two years later, the boat was dismantled and replaced by a larger boat with the same name

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US #3091
1996 Robert E. Lee

  • From set of five picturing historic riverboats
  • First US commemorative to bey issued only in self-adhesive format
  • The boats represent all regions of the US

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Riverboats
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  August 22, 1996
First Day City:  Orlando, Florida
Quantity Issued:  32,000,000
Printed by:  Avery Dennison
Printing Method:  Photogravure
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from printing cylinders of 200 (10 across, 20 down)
Perforations:  Die-cut simulated

Why the stamp was issued:  The Riverboats stamps were issued to commemorate an important form of transportation along America’s inland waterways. 

About the stamp design:  The artwork for the Riverboat stamps was done by Dean Ellis.  His gouache (opaque watercolor) paintings were larger than those usually made for stamps because he wanted to show the details of each ship.  The backgrounds on the stamps reflect the regions of the US where the boats sailed.  Kevin Foster, a maritime historian with the US National Park Service, was consulted to assure the images were historically accurate.

Special design details:  Though the names of each riverboat appears on the boat, it  is difficult to read them because of their small size and because photogravure printed is relatively course.

About the printing process:  The Riverboat stamps were the first to be printed exclusively as self-adhesive stamps.  Previous issues were produced in both self-adhesive and water-activated gum formats.
The die-cut simulated perforations went through the backing paper as well as the stamp.  This allowed postal clerks to divide up the pane for individual sale.  Collectors could also easily save the stamps with the backing paper attached.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated at Stampshow 96, which took place in Orlando, Florida.

About the Riverboats set:  Picturing five riverboats from the turn of the century - Robert. E. Lee, Sylvan Dell, Far West, Rebecca Everingham, and Bailey Gatzert - these stamps represent a bygone era.  Chosen for their historical significance as well as their visual appeal, the boats represent five different regions.  All were in service around the turn of the 20th century and were efficient means to transport goods and passengers.
This set is patterned after a 1989 issue of five Steamboats (US #2405-09).

History the stamp represents: 
Robert E. Lee: Some of the finest, most glamorous steamboats ever built sailed the mighty Mississippi.  None is more celebrated than the Robert E. Lee, winner of a fearsome race with the Natchez, immortalized in Roy Barkhau’s “The Great Steamboat Race,” and in a Currier & Ives’ painting.
Mississippi boats were broad but required shallow keels and powerful engines to navigate the strong but shallow currents.  The Robert E. Lee was 285 feet long, 47 feet wide, and weighed over 1,450 tons. Each of its eight boilers was 42 inches high and 28 feet long. Together the eight engines produced the 120 pounds of steam necessary to turn the Lee’s two 30-foot sidewheels. 
In 1866, Captain John Cannon of New Orleans commissioned Hoosiers in New Albany, Indiana, to build this steamboat, but delayed christening it until it was safe in a Kentucky port. Because it was to operate between New Orleans and Vicksburg, he named it the Robert. E. Lee.
Though fire and shifting sandbars quickly destroyed many western steamboats, they were nonetheless enormously profitable, paying for themselves in 22 weeks. Like others, the Lee was short-lived, hitting a sandbar in 1874.  Two years later, the boat was dismantled and replaced by a larger boat with the same name