U.S. # 4958
2015 49¢ Robert Robinson Taylor
The stamp honors Robert Robinson Taylor (1868-1942). The son of emancipated slaves, he was the first black student to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When he graduated in 1892, he became the first fully accredited African-American architect in America.
During his time at MIT, Taylor met Booker T. Washington. President of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Washington focused on education to fight discrimination in the post-Civil War South. He was impressed with Taylor and recruited him to teach at the school.
As the drafting instructor and architect to the Tuskegee Institute, Taylor was dedicated to promoting Washington’s self-help philosophy. His architectural debut, Science Hall, was constructed entirely by the students, right down to the bricks. But Taylor’s second project, the Tuskegee Chapel, was his proudest accomplishment. Washington once referred to it as the most imposing building on campus. Taylor’s designs and structures were said to epitomize the institute’s standards of excellence.
Taylor spent the majority of his career at Tuskegee. He became a model of achievement through his many contributions – a symbol of pride for the Tuskegee Institute and the nation.
Value: 49¢ first class letter rate
Issued: February 12, 2015
First Day City: Washington, D.C., at the opening of the National Postal Museum’s new exhibit “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights”
Type of Stamp: commemorative
Printed by: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Method: Lithographed in sheets of 120, with six panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11
Quantity Printed: 30,000,000 stamps
The stamp design is based on a photo of Taylor taken when he was about 22 years old and a student at MIT. The original picture is part of MIT Museum’s collection. Derry Noyes was the art director for the Taylor stamp.
Taylor is the 38th honoree in the Black Heritage series. America’s longest-running commemorative series began in 1978. The first stamp (U.S. #1744) pictured Harriet Tubman, conductor on the Underground Railroad. Since then the U.S. Postal Service continues to honor African Americans who have played a vital role in the country’s history.