1996 32¢ Paul Bunyan
Issue Date: July 11, 1996
City: Anaheim, CA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11.1 x 11
Paul Bunyan – Hero of the Lumberjacks
Logging was the principle work on the frontier after the great days of exploration and fur trapping. The cry for lumber at home and abroad kept loggers pushing deeper into the woods. It was during this push across the northern continent that Paul Bunyan became the lumberjack’s hero.
Paul Bunyan stories evolved in logging shanties during the long winter evenings. After cutting and hauling from dawn to dusk, and after eating a filling meal, lumberjacks gathered ’round to exchange stories of the greatest lumberjack that ever was. As lumber camps followed the great forests westward, Paul Bunyan acquired the traits and exploits of other people.
The first written Paul Bunyan story, “The Round-River Drive,” appeared in a Detroit newspaper in 1910. Other simple, realistic stories followed. Then in 1914, W. B. Laughead began using Paul Bunyan to advertise the Red River Lumber Company of Westwood, California and Paul Bunyan’s exploits became superhuman. This was the time Paul acquired Babe, the Blue Ox. Together, fueled by a powerful mixture of flapjacks and syrup, they dug the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, shaved the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and gouged the Grand Canyon – just for starters.