15¢ Oliver W. Holmes
Prominent Americans Series Coil
Imperforate, Type I
Issue Date: June 14, 1978
City: Boston, MA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforation: 10 vertically
Prominent Americans Series
The Prominent Americans Series recognizes people who played important roles in U.S. history. Officials originally planned to honor 18 individuals, but later added seven others. The Prominent Americans Series began with the 4¢ Lincoln stamp, which was issued on November 10, 1965. During the course of the series, the 6¢ Eisenhower stamp was reissued with an 8¢ denomination and the 5¢ Washington was redrawn.
A number of technological changes developed during the course of producing the series, resulting in a number of varieties due to gum, luminescence, precancels and perforations plus sheet, coil and booklet formats. Additionally, seven rate changes occurred while the Prominent Americans Series was current, giving collectors who specialize in first and last day of issue covers an abundance of collecting opportunities.
Issued in 1978, the 15¢ coil stamp features Oliver W. Holmes as its subject. One of the best known American judges, Oliver Wendell Holmes served as a member of the Supreme Court for 30 years. Known as the "Great Dissenter," he insisted laws be viewed in light of a changing society, rather than as old formulas to be adhered to.
In 1881, Holmes wrote, "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience...the law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics."