1997 32¢ Stagecoach
Issue Date: March 13, 1997
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Engraved
Issued for Pacific ’97 International Philatelic Exhibition in San Francisco, America’s first triangular stamps commemorate 150 years of American postage stamps.
Stagecoaches played a vital role in postal history, providing the first scheduled mail service in modern times. In the early 1700s, England saw the dawning of the Industrial Revolution. And as economic activity increased, merchants clamored for a faster, more reliable mail system. To meet the demand, entrepreneurs initiated scheduled stagecoach services, while the government implemented a systematic road-building plan to develop a reliable transportation network.
Here in America, colonial postal service manager Benjamin Franklin followed England’s example and established scheduled mail service. By the mid-1700s, stagecoach and mail service linked the major cities of the East Coast. In 1840, the introduction of the world’s first postpaid, self-adhesive postage stamp – England’s Penny Black – further boosted economic activity.
Together, stagecoaches and postage stamps laid the foundation for a mail system that was fast, reliable, and efficient. Though stagecoaches were quickly replaced by railroads, they continued to provide vital services to inaccessible places into the 20th century.