Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stamp Commemorating Chickens Causes Public Outcry

Commemorating The American Poultry Industry

Here's an interesting piece of chicken trivia....

The 1948 American Poultry Industry Stamp (see below) caused a public uproar that led to the establishment of the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee, a group of 15 Americans from a variety of backgrounds and occupations that advise the Postmaster General on postage stamp designs. Prior to the establishment of the Committee, stamp designs were decided by the Postmaster General without the involvement of the public.

The Stamp That Caused The Commotion

According to Linn's Stamp News, a publication for stamp collectors, the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 laid the foundation for a glut of new stamp issues, including the aforementioned poultry stamp.  Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector and his election brought millions of new collectors into the hobby. 

Where the public's interest goes, so go politicians.  In 1948, thirty commemorative stamps were issued. Many of these designs were at the request of the members of the 80th. congress who were looking to butter up their constituents in an election year.  As a result, a wave of new stamp designs were approved that honored chaplains, fireman, suffragettes, Texans, Swedes etc. The American Poultry Industry stamp was sponsored by Connecticut Congressman Antoni Sadlak and is generally considered the least necessary of all the commemorative stamps issued that year.

Congressman Sadlak sponsor of the American Poultry stamp on left with Paul Ives, editor of Cackle & Crow, a trade publication for the American poultry industry

In 1949, Life Magazine published an article, "Too Many Stamps," that was highly critical of the new commemoratives and the public outcry led to the establishment of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee that helps determine what subjects are worth commemorating on U.S. Postage Stamps.

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