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USA 1970 "Centenary of American Natural History Museum"

Issue Date 06.05.1970
ID Michel: 999-1002 Scott: 1387-1390 Stanley Gibbons: 1377-1380 Yvert:  889-893  UPU: N/A Category: pR
Author Walter Richards
Stamps in set 4
Value 6c - "American Bald Eagle"
6c - "African elephant herd"
6c - "Tlingit chief in Haida ceremonial canoe"
6c - "The age of reptiles"
Size (width x height)
Layout stamps per sheet
Products FDC x 
Perforation 11x11
Print Technique

Lithographed and engraved, multicolor

Printed by Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Quantity 50,448,550
Issuing Authority U.S. Postal Service
Centenary of American Natural History Museum stamps of USA 1970

Issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the American Museum of Natural History(AMNH). Its founders included Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., the father of the 26th U.S. President and industrialist J.P. Morgan. This museum - the largest of its kind in the entire world - had grown to occupy 18 buildings by 1970. By 2010, the museum had grown to 25 innerconnected buildings housing permanent exhibit halls, research laboratories, and a library. Over 32 million specimens are now contained in the museum. The 2006 film, Night at the Museum, was set at the museum.

The Museum boasts habitat dioramas of African, Asian and North American mammals, a full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, sponsored by the family of Paul Milstein (reopened in 2003), a 62 foot (19 m) Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, a massive 31 ton piece of the Cape York meteorite, and the Star of India, the largest star sapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution. The Museum has extensive anthropological collections: Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian collections, general Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America.

"The age of reptiles"

Although "brontosaurus" is a better-known name, scientists now refer to this giant, plant-eating dinosaur as an "apatosaurus" because the name was first used to identify the beast, and the first name used holds throughout. They are five-toed, long-necked dinosaurs, who were the dominant herbivores of their time. Stegosaurus is a plated dinosaur that had a blimp-like body, long hind legs, short front legs, and a small head. Its long, heavy tail carried several pairs of long, bony spikes. The midline of its back had two rows of unpaired bony plates. Allosaurus was a large carnivorous dinosaur that had a weight exceeding four tons. It walked on only two legs, using its long, heavy tail for balance.

  The stamp is reproduction of a build of Rudoph Zallinger, as shown on left side.

Zallinger was one of the pioneers of of paleontological art, perhaps second only to Charles R. Knight in that respect. Zallinger is best known for his stunning  mural, The Age of Reptiles, that covers the entire east wall of the Yale Peabody Museum's Great Hall. The mural depicts the evolution of life on earth over 300 million years, with different sections, separated by the visual device of foreground trees, for geologic periods. It was painted with egg tempera in the fresco secco method; meaning "dry plaster", as opposed to the more familiar traditional method of painting with into wet plaster (buon fresco) as practiced by Michelangelo for his frescos in the Sistine Chapel.

Fossil Halls of the Museum

Most of the Museum's collections of mammalian and dinosaur fossils remain hidden from public view. They are kept in numerous storage areas located deep within the Museum complex. Among these, the most significant storage facility is the ten story Childs Frick Building which stands within an inner courtyard of the Museum. During construction of the Frick, giant cranes were employed to lift steel beams directly from the street, over the roof, and into the courtyard, in order to ensure that the classic museum facade remained undisturbed. The predicted great weight of the fossil bones led designers to add special steel reinforcement to the building's framework, as it now houses the largest collection of fossil mammals and dinosaurs in the world. These collections occupy the basement and lower seven floors of the Frick Building, while the top three floors contain laboratories and offices. It is inside this particular building that many of the Museum's intensive research programs into vertebrate paleontology are carried out.

Tlingit chief in Haida ceremonial canoe"African elephant herd"American Bald Eagle

Of the Nadene linguistic stock, the 13 Tlingit tribes are a group of North American Indians who formerly occupied the Alaskan panhandle southward from Yakutat Bay. A population of about 10,000 in the 1750s dropped to about 4,500 circa 1900. The Tlingits built large wooden dugout canoes, multi-family plank houses, and wooden storage boxes and dishes. They also made masks and wove spruce-root baskets. They frequently had disputes with the Russians. In 1799 the Russians built a fort on an island in the southeast archipelago, but in 1802 the Tlingit drove them out.

African elephants are native to parts of southern, central, and eastern Africa, living in forests, grasslands, river valleys, and deserts. Its numbers have been reduced by overhunting, principally for its ivory tusks. Where it is protected, it tends to overpopulate and defoliate its range, resulting in its own starvation. The African elephant uses its trunk to strip trees of branches and bark and even to uproot them. There is a ban on ivory trading. Initiated in 1989, the ban was put into place when the African elephant was declared endangered by the U.N.'s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Akeley Hall of African Mammals of the Museum

Haliaeetus leucocephalus, the American bald eagle, is a rare species that is the national emblem of the United States. Although protected by law, some large eagles are killed by farmers or captured for use in falconry. The bald eagle, like other birds, has been affected by the widespread use of pesticides that can weaken eggs. They are large, predatory birds that are the symbol of power, courage, and immortalit


Some FDCs
Centenary of American Natural History Museum on FDC of USA 1970 Centenary of American Natural History Museum on FDC of USA 1970
Centenary of American Natural History Museum on Sheet  of USA 1970

References:   stampedout  mysticstamp  usstampgalery  usa postage stamps Wikipedia  Yale Peabody Museum  Lines and Colors



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