22¢ Polar Explorers
Issue Date: May 28, 1986
City: North Pole, AK
Printed By: American Bank Note Co
Printing Method: Photogravure
This block of four stamps was issued to honor a number of men who played key roles in discovering and unlocking the North Pole.
Elisha Kent Kane sailed his tiny ship Advance northward – perhaps close enough to see the North Pole itself. His stamp shows his ship sinking, after being damaged by ice floes.
Adolphus Greely endured devastating hardships to reach a point that was the closest any explorer got to the North Pole for 21 years. His stamp pictures him and two helpers pulling a sled across the ice.
Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson’s expeditionary assaults ended in triumph at the North Pole in 1909. Their stamp illustrates the two men trekking northward, using a dog sled.
And Vilhjalmur Stefansson explored the Beaufort Sea – the last great unknown Arctic area. His stamp shows him carrying a harpoon and dragging his seal catch across the ice.