In honor of Earth Day, we're posting these first day of issue stamps with their commemorative covers. These stamps were issued in 1977 by the U.S. Post Office as a complement to President Carter's agenda to promote energy conservation and develop new energy sources.
The 13-cent stamps were designed by postal service artist Terrence W. McCaffrey of Sterling Virginia, and were issued at the Post Office's facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. The Ridley Park office was chosen because of its status as the nation's first postal facility to install a solar energy system, an experimental installation that was part of the building's completion in 1976. The panels were part of a feasibility study into using alternative energy sources to heat and cool postal service facilities. Prior to their removal in 1990, the solar array at Ridley Park provided 20% of the 6,000 square foot building's heating and cooling energy.
These items are part of Hagley Library's Joseph Federman collection of first day issue envelopes and stamps (Accession 2017.212).