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2-cent Ohio River Canalization single

The public's fascination with aviation and technology became clear to the Post Office Department by the late 1920s. As a consequence, the POD added a new theme to its commemorative categories, one that paid tribute to the nation's technological acumen.

In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Wright brothers' historic flight and the 1928 International Civil Aeronautics Exhibition in Washington, DC, the POD issued two stamps commemorating "civil aeronautics." In addition, it celebrated American ingenuity in 1929 by issuing a commemorative stamp on the 50th anniversary of Thomas Edison's invention of the electric light bulb. The 2-cent Edison stamp was issued in both sheet and coil formats.

The POD also issued commemoratives in categories other than technology during that period. As a result of congressional influence, for instance, in 1928 the POD utilized the process of surcharge overprinting, a new commemorative approach, to recognize the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain Cook. Using the 2-cent and 5-cent regular issues, the words "Hawaii, 1778-1928" were overprinted in black across the front of the stamps.

The commemorative stamp program continued the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution by issuing stamps to commemorate the Valley Forge campaign and the Battle of Monmouth. The Monmouth commemorative was produced, like the Hawaii stamp, by overprinting the words "Molly Pitcher" across the face of the 2-cent regular issued stamp. Three other stamps, commemorating George Rogers Clark, the Sullivan Expedition, and the Battle of Fallen Timbers, while related to the War of independence, were heavily influenced by the young country's interest in westward expansion. Added to that group was a stamp commemorating the completion of the Ohio River canal that linked the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers to the Mississippi, a project begun in 1875 and completed in 1929.

Roger S. Brody

About U.S. Stamps