U.S. # 5039
2016 10¢ Red Pears
Pears have been grown since prehistoric times. They are one of the oldest cultivated fruits and have been commercially produced since as far back as 5000 B.C. in China. Though common in parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, pears did not make it to North America until the first settlers transported the “Old World” trees.
One of the very first pear trees ever to take root in the New World still grows in Massachusetts. In 1630, pilgrim John Endecott planted a pear sapling brought over from England. Though its fruit is not highly praised, the so-called “Endicott Pear Tree” continues to produce nearly four centuries later.
After recurrent blights made pear production in the Northeast unsustainable, the fruit was brought to the Pacific Northwest where it continues to flourish. Washington and Oregon pears account for 84% of the country’s crop. But out of more than 3,000 pear varieties worldwide, the United States only grows ten.
Pears are not only a healthy snack. They have starred in many poems and still life paintings. A pear tree anchors a well-known Christmas carol. And they are a staple in modern interior décor. From sweet red Starkrimsons, green Concordes, and yellow Bartletts, to crisp brown Bosc, pears have been a favorite fruit throughout U.S. history – a trend sure to continue.
Artist John Burgoyne created the red pear illustration for this stamp using pen, ink, and watercolor. Art director Derry Noyes then designed the stamp.
Issued: January 17, 2016
First Day City: Washington, D.C.
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Method: Offset printing in coils of 10,000
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾ Vertically
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000 stamps
This was the first of three definitives issued in 2016 to feature fruit. The other two pictures grapes and apples.