What is form 637?

Anyone who has spent time browsing around this site knows that I am also a philatelist (*ahem*, a stamp collector).  Earlier today I was at Tosapex, an annual stamp show held in West Allis, Wisconsin.  Compared to the model train shows I attend, this show was exceptionally small and quiet, but there was plenty of railroadiana available there, especially in the form of RPO covers and stamps that depict railroad subjects.

I was at this show to find more material for my March 4 collection (which I've blogged about separately), but while I was poking through one box of post cards, I found this one...

Illinois Central Gulf RR post card

The other side of the card looks like this:

Illinois Central Gulf RR post card

Early locomotive construction depicted on worldwide postage stamps

The current issue of Topical Time, the bimonthly publication of the American Topical Association, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. The important item here for us ferroequinologists is the first cover story about the history of early steam locomotive development as depicted on postage stamps of the world. I read through it today and while there were a couple of typos (e.g. "Ross Winang" when it should be "Ross Winans", and "Golden Stake" when it should be "Golden Spike"), I didn't see anything glaringly wrong in the history. Now I wonder if I should submit my article titled "EMD F-units; on Sierra Leone 1850 (Scott) sheetlet" from a year ago. Maybe I will after adding information on other F-unit appearances on postage stamps. Or maybe it's time to put together the article I've been thinking about writing on the RPO inception and development.

EMD F-units; on Sierra Leone 1850 (Scott) sheetlet

DRGW 5771

If there is one locomotive series that paved the way for dieselization in North America more than any other, it would have to be the F-series locomotives of General Motors Electro-Motive Division. The first true F unit was the FT, first produced in 1939. F units were originally designed and sold as two-unit pairs of, usually, one cab-equipped A unit and cabless B unit drawbarred together like the Denver & Rio Grande set of F9s at the Colorado Railroad Museum (shown here). EMD built almost 1,000 FT units in the A and B configurations together, while later models were produced in even higher numbers. With their high production numbers and widespread use on both passenger and freight trains up through the 1970s in regular service, the EMD F series has appeared on numerous stamp issues. Let's take a closer look at one set from Sierra Leone...

George Stephenson; on Hungary 2697 (Scott)

George Stephenson on a stamp from HungaryGeorge Stephenson (June 9, 1781 - August 12, 1848) is sometimes considered to be the "Father of Railways" for his pioneering work on British railway lines in the early 19th century. On this 2 forint stamp from Hungary (Scott catalog number 2697), issued on June 12, 1981, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth, Stephenson is pictured with a plan drawing of a locomotive of his design. The locomotive is similar in appearance to Rocket, which he designed in 1829 to participate in the Rainhill Trials. The Scott catalog says that the locomotive pictured is Nonpareil, but it also bears a strong resemblance to Stourbridge Lion, built by Foster, Rastrick and Company in 1828.

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