The First U.S. Joint Issue Stamps Came out on This Day in History

The First U.S. Joint Issue Stamp Came out This Day in History

On June 26, 1959, the United States of America issued its inaugural joint issue stamps in collaboration with another nation.

The United States and Canada worked together to build the seaway, a crucial link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. In honor of the successful finishing of the St. Lawrence Seaway, this critical event led to the creation of America’s first joint issue stamp.

First U.S. Joint Issue Stamp

(This is the first joint issue stamp)

Collaboration of Joint Issue Stamps

At the time, the US and Canada had never done anything like making a joint issue stamp, making it hard to figure out how to do it. First, mail officials from both countries had to agree on the design since the final stamps would look the same except that they would say which country they were from and how much money they were worth. Also, the postal rules of each country and the steps needed to make first-day covers had to be carefully thought through.

Honoring the Seaway: Design and Production

Even with these problems, mail workers from both countries could work together to make a stamp that paid tribute to the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The stamp featured a map depicting the seaway and symbolically represented both nations by including a maple leaf and a bald eagle. Each country subsequently printed its stamps, which adds an intriguing element to this narrative.

Printing Processes and an Inverted Center Error

Notably, the stamps issued by the United States were produced using the Giori press, capable of simultaneously printing up to three colors. Conversely, the Canadian stamps were printed from two distinct engraved plates that had to be processed through the press separately.

Certain sheets were inadvertently rotated during printing, leading to an error where the center was inverted. These errors remained undetected until two months after the stamps were released, eventually becoming Canada’s most renowned stamp error.

Dedication Day: June 26, 1959

On June 26, 1959, the US and Canada put out stamps about the St. Lawrence Seaway. This was the same day President Dwight Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the seaway. After that, the US continued to put out more than 40 joint issues with different countries.

5 Famous Joint Issue Stamps

The Transatlantic Cable Joint Issue Stamps

The Transatlantic Cable Joint Issue Stamps

Released in 1956, the Transatlantic Cable Stamp stands as an iconic joint issue between the United States and Great Britain. This historic stamp honors the successful laying of the transatlantic telegraph line, which linked the two countries and changed how people communicated worldwide.

The China-U.S. Diplomatic Relations Stamp

The China-U.S. Diplomatic Relations Stamp

This stamp was made by the People’s Republic of China and the United States in 1979. It was made to celebrate the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The stamp shows the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty, both strong symbols of these two countries rich cultural history and shared ideals.

The USA-Japan Gifts of Friendship Joint Issue Stamps

The USA-Japan Gifts of Friendship Joint Issue Stamps

This beautiful set of stamps shows how the United States and Japan share a spirit of friendliness and cultural exchange. These stamps honor the long-standing friendships and peace between these two great countries. They are made with great care and have interesting designs. The image shows beautiful sakura blossoming, and landmarks representing the USA are in the middle.

The France-U.S. Statue of Liberty Stamp

The France-U.S. Statue of Liberty Stamp

In 1986, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty’s dedication, the France-U.S. Statue of Liberty stamp was made. It shows the statue, a global symbol of freedom and democracy. This joint issue stamp shows the beautiful Lady Liberty, which France gave the United States as a gift.

The Germany-U.S. Airlift Joint Issue Stamps

Germany-U.S. Airlift Joint Issue Stamp

The joint issue stamp that remembers the Berlin Airlift is a strong example of how countries can work together for good. It came out in 1998, on the 50th anniversary of the historic Berlin Airlift. During the Soviet blockade, American and British troops helped West Berliners get the supplies they needed during the Berlin Airlift.


  • Nicolas Morgan

    Nicolas Morgan, a passionate stamp enthusiast with an unwavering love for philately. With years of experience in collecting and studying stamps, Rhelyne has become a trusted authority in the field. Their deep knowledge of rare finds, stamp history, and collecting techniques has made them an invaluable resource for fellow enthusiasts.

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