After Industrial Designers, a Stamp to Honor Assembly Lines

The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled the details of its 2011 commemorative stamp program, which includes among its honorees Ronald Reagan on the centennial of his birth, the Indianapolis 500 and Latin music greats. It’s exciting to see the tribute planned for the “Pioneers of Industrial Design,” as well. From, “2011 Stamp Program Debuts“:

The Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamp pane honors 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers. Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers helped shape the look of everyday life in the 20th century. The stamps go on sale in July.

Austin Weber, editor of ASSEMBLY Magazine, proposes a great idea to follow up on that series — a stamp to honor the centennial of the industrial assembly line. From “It’s Time to Stick It” at the magazine’s Assembly Blog:

In just a few years, we’ll mark the centennial of an important milestone in world history – the modern assembly line. On April 1, 1913, the first moving assembly line for a large-scale manufacturing application began to operate at Ford Motor Co.’s Highland Park, MI, factory. It was used to mass-produce flywheel magnetos, which were a key part of the Model T’s revolutionary ignition system.

Ford engineers tinkered with the concept and adopted it in other parts of the 4-story factory. On Jan. 14, 1914, the chassis assembly line became power-driven when an endless chain was attached to an electric motor. By the end of the year, manufacturing engineers developed chain-driven assembly lines for mass producing dashboards, bodies and upholstery….

I urge the USPS to celebrate the centennial of the assembly line by issuing a stamp in either 2013 or 2014. How about a series of four stamps that depict a Model T (or a generic automobile) in various stages of assembly? Or, perhaps better yet, how about a block of four stamps that depict a wide variety of assembly lines, products and eras, such as a 1914 automobile, a 1944 bomber, a 1974 refrigerator and a 2014 wind turbine?

Excellent, excellent ideas. Austin has submitted a letter to the U.S. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee proposing the series, and we join him in encouraging the commeration of this important centennial. (He wrote about those historic events in the February 2003 issue of ASSEMBLY.) The address is:

Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
Suite 5013
1735 N. Lynn St.
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

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