SYD KRONISH | Stamps Issue celebrates banjo clock patent
It's a simple clock, but it changed the way we told time in America.
An artistic rendering of the face of a banjo clock is the newest stamp in the 2003 schedule. The 10-cent stamp features the elegant timepiece made about 1805 by Simon Willard (1753-1848) of Roxbury, Mass.
It's the second stamp in the new American design series by the U.S. Postal Service.
The art in the new stamp depicts the clock's painted iron dial, which has simple scrolled hands, Roman numerals and a keyhole. The dial is crowned with the patriotic symbol of an American eagle.
Willard and his brothers were well-known clockmakers in the Boston area during the first half of the 19th century. Known for his inventive designs, Willard in 1802 patented a new style of wall clock, later called a banjo clock because of its shape.
Willard originally designed the clock for home but later adapted it for schools and workplaces. Its popularity made it one of the most famous designs in American clockmaking.
The artist for the USPS is Lou Nolan, who previously was responsible for four stamps in the Transportation series, as well as the first in the American Design series (American Toleware in 2002). The Postal Service says the new series reflects the rich diversity of American design from various eras and regions.
The new 10-cent American clock stamp will be released Jan. 24. First-day covers may be obtained by phoning (800) STAMP-24. In addition, a selection of stamps and other philatelic items are available at the Postal Store at www.usps.com.
The White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., has been home to U.S. presidents and their families ever since John and Abigail Adams moved into the mansion in 1800. One of the most recognizable buildings in the world, the White House stands as a symbol of the American presidency and the nation itself.
The familiar building has been featured on numerous U.S. stamps, including the latest, a 2000 issue of 33-cent denomination commemorating the 200th year as the home of America's first family.
The U.S. Postal Service loves balloons -- hot air balloons, that is. In 1983, the Postal Service issued a set of four 20-cent stamps depicting a variety of these balloons in flight, including the Intrepid and the Explorer II.