US #5252-53 – Vintage
2017 49c History of Hockey
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: October 20, 2017
First Day City: Detroit, MI
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 15,000,000 stamps
Women have been playing ice hockey almost as long as men. But their journey to attain professional sport status took much longer.
Men’s organized ice hockey was first played in 1875, and there are reports of women casually playing hockey in the years that followed. The first recorded women’s ice hockey game took place in Canada in the early 1890s. Among the first female players was Lady Isobel Stanley, daughter of Lord Stanley, for whom the prestigious Stanley Cup was named.
In the coming years, women’s hockey quickly spread across Canada and into the United States. Women’s hockey hit an early peak in the 1920s and 30s when leagues, teams, and tournaments appeared in almost every part of Canada and some areas of the U.S. One of the early men’s leagues suggested forming a women’s league, but the idea was never realized.
Women’s hockey waned during and after World War II but experienced a resurgence in the 1960s. By the 1970s, women’s hockey teams began appearing all around the world. Then in 1998, women’s hockey made its Olympic debut, with the U.S. taking the first-ever gold in the event.
In the early 2000s, two semi-professional women’s leagues were established, but the players were not paid. Then in 2015, the U.S. created its first professional paid women’s league – the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Fittingly, the NWHL championship award is the Isobel Cup, named after Lady Isobel Stanley.