U.S. # 5006
2015 49¢ Cantaloupes
Refrigerated transport of meat was attempted as early as the 1840s. In order to ship carcasses instead of live cattle, insulated and cooled railroad cars were designed and developed to prevent the meat from spoiling. By the 1880s, refrigerated box cars using both natural ice and mechanical cooling techniques were in heavy use.
The produce industry soon realized the potential of refrigerated transportation. The ability to ship perishable fruits and vegetables over long distances created new rural farming opportunities. People were able to move southwest with real prospects. Large-scale, crop-specific industries grew in California for grapes, pears, and plums. The Gulf Coast states grew strawberries. Several Southwest states produced cantaloupes. Mississippi focused on tomatoes while Georgia became famous for its peaches.
Refrigerated transport of perishables also impacted Americans’ overall nutrition. Better preservation meant less spoilage, driving down costs and making perishable goods more affordable. Once guaranteed only rice, sugar, and beans, consumers’ fresh produce choices were no longer limited to local seasonal selections or restricted by price. For over a century now, the conveniences made possible by refrigeration continue to provide people with a well-rounded diet, contributing to better health nationwide.
The art for this stamp was inspired by vintage shipping crate labels, seed packets, and catalogs inspired. It was designed and drawn by Michael Doret along with the rest of the stamps in the set.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: July 11, 2015 at the California State Fair, Cal Expo
First Day City: Sacramento, CA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset printing in booklets of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾ x 10 ¼
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000 stamps
The 2015 Summer Harvest stamps weren’t the first U.S. issues to take inspiration from plant marketing art. In 2013, the U.S.P.S. issued a set of 10 Vintage Seed Packet stamps (U.S. #4754-63) picturing a variety of colorful flowers.