2020 55¢ Innovation – Computing
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 20, 2020
First Day City: Bellefonte, PA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Hot Foil Stamping
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 14,000,000
In 2020, the United States Postal Service issued a set of five new Forever stamps "celebrating the American spirit of innovation." One of these stamps honors computing.
Since civilization began thousands of years ago, the human race has looked for ways to better calculate and store information. Today, we have sophisticated computers to help us with these tasks. But there have been countless innovations along the way that led to the birth of these machines.
One famous early computing device was the abacus. It was invented in ancient Babylon around 2400 B.C. and is still in use today. Several thousand years later, we had the invention of the printing press. While not directly involved in computing, it dramatically increased accessibility of information, allowing ideas to spread and evolve more quickly.
In the 20th century, significant electronic advances were made that pushed computing forward. These included the transistor, the first computers (huge devices that took up entire rooms), and the launch of the World Wide Web. In the 21st century, personal computers became household staples. Laptops came next, and smart phones followed soon after. It is amazing how far we have come, and how far we continue to go, in our quest for knowledge.