U.S. # 4728
2013 33¢ Golden Delicious
Around 1891, L. L. Mullins sent his teenage son out to mow a pasture with an old scythe. Young J. M. Mullins was toiling away when he spotted a small apple tree growing in the middle of the field. He mowed around it, and the tree continued to grow as the property changed hands over the years, with Anderson Mullins eventually owning it. Impressed by the tree that bore heavy crops of golden apples, Mullins sent a sample to Stark Brothers Nursery. Red apples dominated the market at the time, so Paul Stark was shocked when he bit into the delicious golden apple. “With one in your hand, you can’t be sure whether you’re drinking champagne or eating an apple,” he enthused.
In 1914, Stark set out on a 1,000-mile trek to the Mullin farm in West Virginia. After traveling by train, buggy, and horseback, Stark bought the tree and the land around it. He took a bundle of grafting wood home with him to use on his apple trees.
Golden Delicious apples are now grown across the United States and around the world. In 1966, 87-year-old J. M. Mullins reminisced about leaving his mark on history. “I just wanted you and everybody else to know that I’m the fellow that didn’t cut down that apple tree seedling one day when I was mowin’ the pasture field.”
Artist John Burgoyne created the apple artwork for this stamp using watercolor with pen and ink before adding finishing touches with computer software.
Value: 33¢ domestic postcard rate
Issued: January 17, 2013
First Day City: Yakima, WA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 200, with 10 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ½ x 10 3/4
Quantity Printed: 37,500,000 stamps
Apples have been pictured on U.S. stamps since 1966, when one was issued to honor Johnny Appleseed (U.S. #1317). Apples were also pictured on a pair of 2001 definitives (U.S. #3491 and #3193), the 2002 Greetings from Washington stamps (U.S. #3607 and #3742) and the 2012 Heart Health stamp (U.S. #4625).