1958 3¢ International Geophysical Year
Issue Date: May 31, 1958
City: Chicago, Illinois
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Black and red orange
U.S. #1107’s design was based on a photograph of the Sun, taken during the International Geophysical Year, an international scientific project. During the 18 months of the project, the Sun gave off tremendous bursts of energy – an event that was observed by project members during the study. That was just one of the highlights during project’s time. Others included the launching of Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite sent into orbit around the Earth. The U.S. soon followed with the Explorer I satellite – the country’s first successful launch.
Also shown on this stamp is part of Michelangelo’s famous painting, “The Creation of Adam,” located on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The rest of the image shows God breathing life into Adam. The stamp shows the portion of the mural where God’s hand reaches out to touch Adam’s hand – with a tiny space in between. It was described by Ervine Metzl, the stamp’s designer, as an attempt to “picture man’s wonder at the unknown, together with his determination to understand it and his spiritual inspiration to further his knowledge.”