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Steel Shots: Building America
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM.


The contributions of America’s industrial-era workers are memorialized on a new sheet of USPS Forever stamps titled “Made in America: Building a Nation.” The stamps, which feature black-and-white photographs of early 20th-century industrial workers, include the above images of ironworkers on the iconic Empire State Building (which took nearly 60,000 tons of steel to construct). In the top row, from left to right, are two riveters and a welder on the building; and in the bottom row, from left to right, are a crew member guiding a beam and a laborer hoisting a ball on the skyscraper. Photos: Copyright 2013 U.S. Postal Service


Later this year, USPS will issue a new set of 12 stamps titled “Made in America: Building a Nation,” honoring the early 20th-century industrial workers who helped build our country.


The pane includes images of ironworkers on the iconic, steel-framed Empire State Building. Early skyscrapers like the Empire State Building required an astounding amount of manpower. It took slightly more than a year to complete, and opened in 1931. Thousands of workers, including riveters and welders, helped build the massive high-rise structure; many of whom were immigrants and Native Americans.


Five different stamp sheets will be available. Each one will contain the same stamps, but will be anchored by a different selvage photograph, including two featuring Empire State Building ironworkers and one that depicts a female welder.


“Stamps are like a miniature American portrait gallery,” said recently appointed Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Tom Perez. “They are an expression of our values and a connection to our past. That’s why it’s so fitting that this series depicts Americans at work. These iconic images tell a powerful story about American economic strength and prosperity. These men and women and millions like them really did build a nation.”


You can view images of all 12 stamps, a video and more information about the stamp series on the USPS website ( 

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