A Look at the 1958 Mackinac 3¢

27 June 2021

The 1958 3¢ Mackinac Bridge postage stamp was issued by the United States to commemorate the opening of the “longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere” (a phenomenal feat of structural engineering whose record still stands today) in the state of Michigan. Without it, the northernmost part of Michigan would be inaccessible by conventional motor vehicles unless a ferry carrying vehicles was used to cross. 

The story behind this 3c stamp is that the Mackinac Bridge (known by some as the “Mighty Mac”) and it’s construction is a remarkable point in Michigan history, yet the postage stamp that honors the opening of this bridge seems to be unremarkable to some. Granted, the amount of 3c stamps printed is in the tens of millions.

Seeing as the history of the bridge itself is discussed at length on other websites, I wanted to focus more on the design and why I think it’s interesting for something I’d consider a commonplace stamp. It’s got an almost turquoise color to it overall- despite having many individual shades of blue, computer software is telling me a common hex color code featured on the stamp is #006184, which I learned actually has a name: “Faux Sea Blue”

1958 Mackinac Bridge 3 ¢ stamp, with the bridge itself highlighted

In the center of the stamp the prominent and obvious feature is the large suspension bridge itself, with this particular scene showing the bridge in the foreground and what appears to be the bridge going on further in the distance. There is a barge-like vessel traveling under the bridge with billowing smoke, clouds under the bridge over the horizon, and one larger cloud underneath the large “3¢” at the top right of the stamp, indicating the price. The written portion of the stamp clearly states, “UNITED STATES POSTAGE” and “THE MACKINAC BRIDGE CONNECTING THE PENINSULAS OF MICHIGAN” printed proudly at the top and bottom of the stamp, respectively. 

From far away, the sharp, vertical off-white lines of the bridge contrast very well against the shades of blue that compose the sky. The way the bridge is displayed in the foreground, getting more and more distant as the bridge goes on, highlights two things in my opinion: (1) the design attempts (and I think succeeds) in showing just how long and impressive this bridge is, and (2) it’s larger than life presence shows just how important this bridge was in terms of the building and engineering process, the nearly hundred million dollar cost, and the fact it’s completion gave Michigan the title of having “longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere”.

First Day Cover of the Mackinac Bridge 3 ¢ Stamp, 63 years old this week (as of publication)

Living some 800+ miles away from the bridge, I’ve never seen or crossed the bridge myself and I might not have known about its importance to Michigan without finding this 3¢ stamp and looking into it further. This is just one example of the importance philately and stamp collecting has- beyond the obvious purpose of using it as postage, the stamp itself acts as a catalyst for education, learning about geography, landmarks, history and more. One day when I get out to Michigan and cross the “Mighty Mac” myself, I’ll be sure to have the 3¢ stamp with me. 

Structural Changes

26 June 2021

All,

I hope everyone is well, staying safe and healthy. I have a few changes I wanted to share along with some exciting news about the YouTube channel.

The first bit of news focuses on the Podcast- The podcast will be ending as a stand-alone feature of the JET Philatelics project as a whole, but the content that would have been discussed on the Podcast will instead become regular YouTube videos on the channel. That allows me to shift all of my attention to either YouTube videos or shorter blog posts. The trailer episode for the podcast that is currently on YouTube will be taken down, however Episode #1 will remain.

As for the blog, it will continue to serve as the place where I will post announcements, updates and short articles/blog posts. To celebrate this change, I am happy to announce tomorrow (27 June 2021) my short opinion blog post about the design of the U.S. 1958 Mackinac Bridge 3¢ stamp will go live at 12:00 noon EST.

Finally, I am excited to share that the JET Philatelics YouTube Channel Trailer will be coming to my YouTube channel very soon. There is no specific date yet as it is not yet ready but expect it in a manner of a few weeks.

Thank you all for your continued support and I look forward to finally sharing my perspective on the world of philately with you through the JET Philatelics YouTube channel & blog.

Best,

Jack

Editor, JET Philatelics

Click here for the JET Philatelics YouTube channel.

Click here for the JET Philatelics Twitter page.

Click here for the JET Philatelics Instagram page.

A “Hello” Heard Around the World

Edit 26 June 2021: See Structural Changes for updated information about The JET Philatelics Podcast.

17 September 2020

All,

I wanted to formally welcome all of you to JET Philatelics! It’s been over two weeks since this website launched and I am excited to begin this philatelic journey with all of you.

The outpouring of support in the last two weeks on social media has blown me away, and I am grateful to all of you that are supporting this project right from the beginning. It took me years to get where I am right now with my other blog (JET Numismatics), welcoming visitors from twenty countries worldwide in just over two weeks! This is truly a hello heard around the world!

I wanted to go ahead and describe my plan for the next few weeks, so you have an idea of where the project is headed. I truly see this as a project designed to give and be given inspiration by, to, and from all of you. I am a beginner collector inspired to be a positive force in the wonderful hobby that is philately- and the fact I have such a large outpouring of support before I even hit record to the first video or podcast, or this very blog post for that matter, speaks volumes and proves my point: this project is definitely a worthy endeavor.

Before I describe the content for YouTube videos, I wanted to mention I changed the font in the JET Philatelics logo, the current one is my Twitter profile picture and banner. It will take a few days to update the logo across all platforms. I’ll be updating The JET Philatelics Podcast artwork as well.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been preparing content and brainstorming ideas that, from my perspective, are fascinating to talk about. Some of the many awesome features of collecting postage stamps includes learning the history of a particular stamp, the geography and history of the country it came from, the local history (if it has a legible cancellation), the artistic style, studying the messages or objects featured on those stamps, and so, so much more. I’ve interacted with so many collectors in the past few weeks whose collective focus has been on unique, niche parts of the hobby. Seeing that passion first hand makes me feel that much more inspired, especially being a beginner collector. It confirms that I’m more than able to find and discover unique stories to share through my preparation, brainstorming and research. I know many people feel intimidated when starting a new hobby, but for me, that feeling couldn’t be farther from reality. Being welcomed into the hobby with a personal message of support from the American Philatelic Society itself is not only incredible, but it shows that both collectors and professionals in this hobby care about the community they truly want to foster and grow.

As for the technical side of things, I am excited to share the channel introduction within the next week to two weeks. I’m sure the other philatelic YouTube channels (whose content I watch, and their creative process I admire) have had the joy of learning how to edit videos. I am learning that process now and I am slowly beginning to enjoy it. 

As for the creative side, I have many episodes planned out, taking lessons and inspiration from other channels, specifically the Exploring Stamps and Ted Talks Stamps “schools of philatelic YouTube”. And, important to note, Ted reached 1,000 subscribers today, a tremendous achievement!

Part of the excitement is learning what my own video style is as I ago, and we’ll see that play out in the next few weeks. Focusing on that, one of the first (I am proud to say highly anticipated) episodes on the channel will be about how to make your own canvas art “prints” that don’t break the bank, and look great. Another episode will discuss the Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF) stamp from 1951 that I made this very canvas print of, all in the coming weeks. As you can surmise from this brief blog post, there’s a lot to do, but there’s a lot of excitement too!

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I’ll be in attendance for as many hours at the Philatelic Traders’ Society (PTS) Virtual Stampex show as physically possible. Like many other people, I’ve made my schedule available for all three days, and I cannot wait to see all of you there. My goal is to visit and interact with every single booth at the show at least once!

Again, many thanks everyone to your continued support. If you haven’t had the opportunity to follow my social media channels or subscribe to the YouTube channel, the links are here below.

Best,

Jack

Editor, JET Philatelics

Click here for the JET Philatelics Twitter page.

Click here for the JET Philatelics Instagram page.

Click here for the JET Philatelics YouTube channel.