The new Grand Canyon postage stamp sure is pretty

Grand canyon stamp

In celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, an iconic 1912 painting of the natural wonder will now help shuttle your mail across the country.

While postal stamps may be a dying breed, there will always be those of us who continue to use them – and thankfully the Postal Service continues to make an effort for letter-writers and paper-bill payers to enjoy one of the simpler niceties in life: a pretty stamp.

It may be true that email is the more sustainable way to send a letter, but it's important to also take a step back from the crazy tsunami of technology and revel in the simpler things. Letter writing – and receiving – does wonders for the soul. Topping it off with a shout-out to our National Park further sweetens the pot.

The new stamp featuring the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is the eighth of 16 Forever Stamp designs being rolled out over three weeks to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.

The stamp image is a detail of a chromolithograph-on-canvas, “The Grand Canyon of Arizona, from Hermit Rim Road,” by artist Thomas Moran (1837–1926). The print was originally published by the American Lithography Company of New York City and was based on a 1912 oil painting by Thomas Moran. The painting was bought by the Santa Fe Railway Company, which was the first to lay a line to the Grand Canyon, in 1901. (John Muir later commended the railroad for its limited environmental impact.) They used the image to promote tourism – talk about simpler things, a time when one would take a train to the exotic wonder way out west.

Grand canyon trainPassengers on the first run of the Grand Canyon Railway, 1901 (Cline Library Digital Archives)/CC BY 2.0

Other National Park Forever Stamps introduced so far include Acadia National Park, Arches National Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park , Everglades National Park and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

The first-day-of-issue ceremony for the National Parks Forever Stamps pane will take place on June 2 at New York City’s Javits Center at as part of World Stamp Show-NY 2016. Get your pens and stationery ready!

Related Content on