Erik Nitsche: Australia Postal Relics
Artist: Erik Nitsche
One of the most romantic and interesting postal histories in the world belongs to Australia. Isolated from other nations by thousands of miles of ocean, Australia's early postal system relied on whaling ships to bring mail from the rest of the world. During the mid-1800s these great sailing ships were replaced with the faster and more powerful steamships. The ship chosen to inaugurate the new steamship mail service was the Chusan. She sailed with her first cargo of mail from Southampton, England on May 15, 1852. After battling stormy seas and strong gales, the Chusan finally arrived in Sydney, Australia on August 3, 1852. The arrival of the mail onboard the Chusan was hailed as an event of great importance to Australia. Indeed, the little mail ship was praised in both Australian poetry and prose. This artwork depicts a red letterbox from the 1890s, an Australian postman from the same era, and a whaling ship used to transport mail in the 1840s. Australia's official postal insignia is also shown.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day of Issue Maximum Card for the U.S. 22¢ Stamp Collecting stamp issued January 23, 1986.
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