American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Some Mountain Stamps

  • Feature Article
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1943

Some Mountain Stamps

Joel E. Fisher

THE writer, being a collector of stamps, suggested to the Editor that other readers, too, might be interested in stamps which carry mountain views, hence this number’s frontispiece.

At the top will be seen two of the United States Commemoratives—the three cent Mt. Rainier, and the three cent Mt. McKinley stamps. The former is from a photograph by our late member Asahel Curtis, and shows Mt. Rainier with Mirror Lake in the foreground. The Mt. Rainier stamp was issued as one of the National Parks Commemorative issue. The Mt. McKinley view is from a design by Victor J. McCloskey, his first design, which included a railroad train in the foreground, having been rejected. This Alaska stamp was issued in 1937.

Centered below the above two, is the beautiful $1.00 Mt. Edith Cavell stamp, issued by Canada in 1930 and an extremely fine example of stamp illustrating. As a matter of fact, Canada had previously issued another stamp in 1928, a ten cent denomination, depicting Mt. Cavell seen from another angle.

The three stamps of New Zealand and Tasmania, issued in the mid-nineties, are among the earliest examples of mountain scenes on stamps—in fact, up to that time, few countries had ever issued pictorial stamps; the usual custom was to show the head of the country’s ruler on its stamps.

The one peso Mexican stamp illustrated in the next row shows Orizaba, as seen from the lowlands. In recent years Mexico has issued several other mountain scenes, with Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, as air mail stamps. The Bolivian five centavo stamp, issued in 1916, is a view of Illimani; Bolivia at the same time issued a one centavo stamp with Mt. Potosi, and Ecuador’s one sucre stamp, issued in 1908, with a fine view of Chimborazo, is one of the handsomest stamps ever issued by Ecuador. This came out at the time of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of the Guaya- quil-Quito Railway.

The two Swiss stamps show the Lyskamm from above the Riffelberg (with an apparently diminished Riffelhorn in the middle distance), and the Jungfrau from the N.E.—the former, while fully available for postal use, was sold at a premium in post-offices, the excess going to various charities. Other Swiss stamps have been issued with the Matterhorn as a minor feature of the background; with the Titlis, the Wetterhorn, and the Mythen and, on its postage due stamps for many years there appeared a group of three peaks which greatly resembled the Eiger Monch and Jungfrau.

The bottom stamp, a 25,000 ruble stamp of Armenia, represents that earliest recorded peak in our literature, Mt. Ararat.

The stamps reproduced in the frontispiece are by courtesy of The Scott Stamp and Coin Company, One West 47th Street, New York City.

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