Sunday, 20 September 2015

Industrial Power

Germany celebrated the world's first long distance transmission and the 'Centenary of Three-Phase Energy Transmission' in 1991 with this rather pretty stamp.  The 175k (109 miles) of overhead cable ran from Lauffen am Neckar to Frankfurt am Main and marked the end of the "War of Currents" with the system that would span the world. The event was part of the International Electro-Technical Exhibition which took place from May to October in 1891 on the site of three former railway stations.  Lit with a 1000 lights, illuminated signs and an artificial waterfall powered by electric current (rather ironically as the whole system was hydro-powered) the crowds came to marvel.  Lauffen castle (shown on the stamp) has information boards telling the story of this great occasion but here is the story in photographs.  As they say a picture tells a thousand words so here is a drawing of the entrance to the exhibition complete with waterfall on the right.
For another of those light-bulb moments this set of stamps
was  issued for 'Industry Year' in 1986 showing a light bulb and a north sea drilling rig (energy), A thermometer and pharmaceutical lab (health)
A garden hoe and steelworks (steel) and lastly a loaf of bread and cornfields (agriculture). 

The stamps were designed by Keith Bassford (1949-) a graphic designer who was actually employed by the British Post Office in 1976, first for the corporate section and then later moving into stamps and philatelic products. I can't see that happening nowadays when their first thought seems to be to go to the photographic library and stick it on a stamp with the minimum of design effort. Bassford's expertise in stamps and philatelic products meant he used to be a popular speaker to specialist organisations.  Moving to Denmark in 1986 he continued to produce stamps for Royal Mail but also for the Danish Post Office and his work is exhibited in Denmark's Graphic Museum located in Odense (birth place of Hans Christian Andersen) who from their publicity photograph seem to have some cracking old printing presses.  The city is also home to Keith Bassford and his wife's studio where he continues with graphic design and letterpress printing.  He also has some interesting old typefaces featured on his Flickr account here although sadly his enthusiasm must have run out at that point because there is nothing else on his account.

An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme of  - Technology/Industry - for more bright sparks go here


Bob Scotney said...

The GB Industrial Year set is great and one I must look out for.

FinnBadger said...

Great set. Fascinating that 'pence' is written in full (and all in capitals) here - that must be pretty rare.

Heleen said...

Indeed a great set, I love to see these pictures, especially the first 'homage' to the light bulb'! Thank you for sharing!

Eva A. said...

Very nice stamps.

violet s said...

The International Electro-Technical Exhibition must have been quite an exciting event.
I quite like Bassford's designs.