NASHVILLE — The U.S. Postal Service yesterday dedicated the Soda Fountain Favorites Forever Stamp booklet featuring the cold, sweet treats beloved by people of all ages. The ceremony was held at the Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville.
The First-Class Mail Forever booklet of 20 stamps features five different illustrations: a double-scoop ice cream cone, an egg cream, a banana split, a root beer float and a hot fudge sundae.
This booklet includes four of each design. The words “FOREVER*USA” are featured along the right edge of each stamp. The geometric silver-toned patterns in the selvage and on the booklet cover evoke a classic chrome-accented soda fountain. The words “Soda Fountain Favorites” appear across the top of the booklet cover. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps, with illustrations by Nancy Stahl.
“It is our hope at the United States Postal Service that the stamps we are issuing today will spur nostalgia in everyone mailing or receiving postcards, letters and packages,” said Nancy Rettinhouse, vice president, Employee Resource Management, who dedicated the stamp.
“The Postal Service issues a few dozen stamps each year. And each year, there are usually one or two edibles on the list,” said Rettinhouse. “In the past few years, grapes, pears and even wedding cakes have been immortalized with postage stamps. But I venture to say that we have tapped into something special with Soda Fountain Favorites.”
Other participants in the ceremony included Lelan Statom, Emmy Award-winning meteorologist; Tommy Cole, lifelong soda shop customer; Rob Hatchett, Postal Service employee; and Girl Scout Troop 53, whose members read soda fountain essays.
The ice cream soda’s precise origin is not clear, but by the turn of the 20th century, it had become a fountain staple. Adding a creamy scoop or two of chocolate or strawberry to a soft drink only added to its already considerable allure. The rise of refrigeration helped establishments produce, serve and store frozen confections, whose popularity surged. After all, it was difficult to resist thick milkshakes, malts, and sundaes topped with syrups, sauces, whipped cream and cherries.
In cities and towns across the United States, the soda fountain was an important gathering place. When Prohibition banned alcohol sales, people flocked to soda fountains. During World War II, soda fountains popped up at military bases in the United States and abroad, because drinking a soda or indulging in a sundae reminded soldiers of simple pleasures at home.
After World War II, the country’s collective attitude toward dining out began to change. Speed and convenience were prized over service, and by the 1960s, the number of soda fountains had dramatically decreased. Soda fountain culture, however, still lives on in homes, restaurants and ice cream parlors. The joy of sharing a soda or a sundae is an indelible American tradition.
Soda Fountain Favorites is being issued as a First-Class Mail Forever booklet of 20. These Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.
Customers may purchase the Soda Fountain Favorites stamp booklet at usps.com/stamps, at the Postal Store usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide. A variety of stamps and collectibles also is available at ebay.com/stamps.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at the Postal Store usps.com/shopor by calling
800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in envelopes addressed to:
Soda Fountain Favorites Stamps
Metro Station Post Office
2245 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37228-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 30, 2016.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are six philatelic products for this stamp issue:
680806, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $75.20.
680810, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $17.95.
680816, First-Day Cover, $0.91.
680821, Digital Color Postmark, $8.10.
680824, Framed Art, $39.95
680830, Ceremony Program, $6.95.