March 14, 2008 | Times News
State Rep. Keith McCall presented a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to Jim Thorpe artist Victor Stabin commemorating the March 6 release of a set of four “American Scientists” by the United States Postal Service. McCall urged that a coal miners postage stamp be issued and that Stabin be the designer.
The USPS receives 500 requests a day from artists who ask to be considered for a commission to design a stamp. “To get that kind of commission with the Post Office is not an easy task,” McCall said.
This is the third release of stamps designed by Stabin. The USPS has previously released a stamp honoring the legendary composer and Pennsylvania native, Henry Mancini, and an earlier release of four postage stamps from the “American Scientists” series. Up to twenty stamps will be released in this series.
“While Victor Stabin’s art has already received well-deserved national and international attention, the House of Representatives wanted to specifically honor him for his artwork featured on postage stamps honoring some of America’s most distinguished scientists, including his recent commission to add four more pieces of art to the series that he first created in 2005,” noted McCall.
“We hope to keep Victor on the job designing stamps, as lawmakers from our area have requested a stamp be issued honoring coal miners, and it only makes sense for an artist working where anthracite was first discovered to create the art for that stamp.”
Bob Canton, an aid to Rep. McCall added, “Every year we have been sending Pennsylvania House resolutions to the U.S. Congress to say we have so many different postage stamps honoring artists, superheroes, and animated characters, isn’t it time we honor some real American history, and honor coal miners? The time is long overdue. We are going to advocate for that-more fearsome than ever.”
When asked, “why a coal miner stamp is important?” Canton replied, “America wouldn’t be America without coal. Pennsylvania coal is what powered the industrial revolution. Pennsylvania coal powered the stokers that created the steel, built the bridges, built the ships. Everything about America comes back to Carbon County. It’s time for a stamp to honor the men who made it possible.”
McCall noted, “The coal mining industry fueled the industrial revolution of this entire country. It is probably one of the most dangerous jobs, yet we can’t get recognition for what they have done. I think it is important that the Postal Service relook at how they make those decisions honoring people that we think should be honored—not just coal miners but all the men and women of the country.”
The citation was presented to Victor Stabin at the Stabin Morykin Building in Jim Thorpe, home to Stabin’s studio and art gallery featuring the words of Stabin with periodic exhibits of pieces from local and national artists.
“Jim Thorpe is an outstanding destination for outdoor sports and history, but we also have one of the most diverse and creative artistic communities in the entire state,” McCall said. “I hope people from all over the state and beyond will take a trip here, to visit Stabin’s gallery as well as our many other galleries and artist’s shops.”