2007 41¢ Gar Wood
Vintage Mahogany Speedboats
Issue Date: August 4, 2007
City: Clayton, NY
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 10 ½
The vintage mahogany speedboats pictured on the 2007 U.S. commemorative stamps are a combination of history and artistry. Introduced around the beginning of the 20th century, speedboats were the luxury toys of the wealthy prior to the Great Depression. A new design was introduced in the early 1900s that allowed the boats to plane (rise up) on top of the water, rather than "plow" through it, which greatly increased their speed and performance.
Admired for their sleek lines, polished mahogany, and gleaming chrome, the speedboats featured inboard motors and all-wood hulls. Mahogany was the wood of choice because of its relatively straight grain and attractive reddish-brown color which darkened over time. Also, mahogany had excellent workability, and was very durable and slow to rot. It displayed a beautiful sheen when polished.
Keeping the mahogany boats in peak condition today is a labor of love, requiring sanding and applying several coats of varnish on a repeated basis. Because of the dedication of their owners, mahogany speedboats can still be enjoyed today.