Talk:List of people on the postage stamps of the United States

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What to call the list[edit]

Should we move this to "List of people .."? That's how we have named all other similar lists. --Eloquence 23:10 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

How about List of people on United States stamps? --mav 23:30 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)
Sounds good. I say we move to mav's suggestion. --Dante Alighieri

As the one who started this I have no strong objection to this kind of move. Adding "List of" only makes the title longer without any disambiguation benefit. Presumably, this format would also apply to similar lists for other countries, and for what is now the more general People on stamps. I would still prefer List of people on stamps of the United States which allows using the noun instead of the adjective. It would be easier to have parallel titles when we get to some other countries. List of people on stamps of Monaco would be more meaningful to more people than List of people on Monegasque stamps. It would also avoid having people wonder whether List of people on French stamps related to France or to stamps with French inscription. Eclecticology 23:57 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

You make a cogent argument. Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of the English language, "stamps of the United States" could even be miscontstrued to describe stamps that have the United States as a subject, rather than stamps produced by the United States. Isn't language grand? --Dante Alighieri
For what you envision I would use "stamps about the United States". It seems that your capacity for misconmenstruating is as contorted as mine. :-} Eclecticology 00:11 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)
Well, I wasn't really serious, but yes, it is. It is certainly contorted. ;) --Dante Alighieri

Well, do we have a convention on which lists we want to call lists? Viewing the recent changes list, I notice that people are working on Castles in the Republic of Ireland, Castles in England etc., all of which are lists, but linked to from a meta-list, List of castles. Perhaps the same logic could apply here: List of people on stamps links to People on United States stamps etc. One could argue that the other list should be called "List of lists of people on stamps", though ;-) (As for the naming, I agree that "French stamps" is ambiguous, but "stamps of France" isn't very nice either..) --Eloquence 00:08 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)

Again we run into the problem that the English language is not equipped to easily name these lists in an unambiguous manner. I mean, if you want to get ridiculous you could make it totally unambiguous: "Lists of people who appear on, or are the subject of, stamps authorized by, or printed in, the country of (blank)". How's that for lack of ambiguity? ;) --Dante Alighieri
As it stands People on stamps includes some actual lists, and is not just a meta-list of lists. For some of these the countries are there as a prelude to being moved to their own lists. Some entities that issued stamps were short lived, and issued very few stamps - not enough to merit a stub article with a list of one. I'm open to ideas. Eclecticology 00:26 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)
That will get people's attention! Eclecticology

What goes on the list[edit]

Before you worry about what to call this article, you people need to decide what it's going to be a list of. Who is going to look up the info in this list and why? Why, for example, is it just people and not events, organizations, and landmarks? Is it just commemoratives? Who decides who goes on the list, and by what criteria? Take, for example, Liberty Hyde Bailey, whom User:Eclecticology insists on having there: The stamp on which Bailey is "featured" is this 1958 "Gardening-Horticulture" one "Issued to honor the garden clubs of America and in connection with the centenary of the birth of Liberty Hyde Bailey, horticulturist" according to Scott's catalog.

Bailey does not appear on the stamp, and neither does his artwork or name, and there is no way for anyone to tell from the stamp itself that it had anything to do with him. So how, pray tell, does it fit within what this list says it is? -- isis 22:04 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)

Thanks Isis, for posting your views to the talk page. The removals without discussion were irritating.
My comments also apply to the more general People on stamps article of which this is a spin-off. Choosing people was just one way of limiting the list, and with this limitation alone it will already be quite long. (We all need to decide just how much effort we want to put into any one article.) Events, organizations and landmarks are all valid criteria, and I would be delighted if someone decided to undertake entries under those categories. Once that criterion was established the practical solution was to take the widest reasonable interpretation of that criterion, so I chose not only stamps with portraits but any where there appeared to be an intent to commemorate a real identifiable individual or a small group of individuals. For an artist it is often a greater commemoration to show his works of art than his portraits. For Bailey, who does appear on the FDC that you show, that commemoration of his accomplishments is more indirect, but it is supported by credible external sources. I do exclude allegorical figures and angels. I would never look at a group picture of the signers of the Declaration of Independance, and use that as an excuse to list them all. I do not include people where there was no intent to commemorate them as individuals even though they were later identified as was the Indian in the 14cent stamp of the 1922 regular series. I'm still mostly undecided by literary personages though inclined to avoid them even as Tom Sawyer and Mickey Mouse have left a clear imprint on the American psyche. In cases of doubt, I prefer to be inclusive.
The people who appear on any country's stamps present a good sampling of whom that country wishes to honour. There are other ways in which they can be listed. Your list of artists is one about which I have no complaint. I support your continuing it in a systematic way as I have been trying to do with this list. Perhaps at some later time we will be able to compare lists, and I will agree that a whole class of people can be moved out of this one. Please understand, however, when I balk at three seemingly random excisions. Eclecticology 23:55 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)

Hi, Ec. I think this is a great list as a source for people who should have entries. I did a few today, including Will Rogers. I've also been correcting some of the names to correspond with existing articles. I noticed that you put back the F.B. in Morse. We already have an article on Samuel Morse (minus F.B.). Wouldn't it be better to link to it? Danny

I know that you fixed a few links at the same time that I was adding a bunch more from the Great Americans series of stamps, and there was an edit conflict. The reason I went in favour of my own that time was that it involved 20+ names scattered throughout the list. I then went ahead and restored your adits for Pershing and Moses. Morse was not a hostile reversion. If I tried to track these details while I'm adding to the list, I'd never get anything done. On this specific one, I believe he is better known with "F. B." so keeping it that way and generating a redirect may be the way to go. I tend to prefer full correct names, but I know that some people like Mav don't agree with me; it's not a matter where I would care to get into an edit war.
I did notice your change for Nasser. I don't know if there is any standard way to deal with Arabic names. The absence of vowels in writing these names does make things difficult.
In Wiktionary I noticed Imran's comments to you about where to put the Hebrew translation for alien. I agreed with where you put it in the first place. I don't think that breaking up these articles into multiple pages is appropriate at this stage of Wikitech's life. The spirit of a term loses something in its fragmentation. Eclecticology 04:52 Dec 23, 2002 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll just do a redirect, like you suggest. Nasser is a problem. Personally, I prefer Gamal 'Abd el-Nasser, but my Arabic is not great and I've never done transliteration of Arabic texts. I agree with you about alien, but will wait to see what other people say. It does dolve the problem of not being able to get both translations into one line. My computer keeps going haywire trying to switch directions between right-left and left-right. Danny

Muhammad Ali[edit]

Wasn't Muhammad Ali in one?

Antonio Wild!! Wild on The Streets!!! Wiiiiilddd!!! Martin

Not in the United States, which has a policy of not producing stamps to commemorate living people. Eclecticology 00:22 Mar 8, 2003 (UTC)

Thomas Hart Benton[edit]

I'm guessing that the Thomas Hart Benton in this list is Thomas Hart Benton (painter), not Thomas Hart Benton (senator), but I'm not sure. The issue date of 1971 would suggest the painter. Anyone have the real deal? -- ESP 18:07 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thumb thumb thumb - painter. Missouri 150th, stamp shows a detail of one of his Western-themed paintings. Stan 18:56 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Excellent! Disambiguated. Thanks for the help. -- ESP 01:15 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I wanna be in a stamp! I can imagine my 18 year old like face profile on a stamp next to the American flag..LOL Even through I dont consider myself American, those are the stamps used in Puerto Rico, but Id love to see me in one!

Antonio Lick me Everywhere Martin

Bill Cosby[edit]

Bill Cosby has a stamp? Shoehorn 7 July 2005 07:09 (UTC)

No, he doesn't. The Cosby Show has a stamp, but Bill's picture isn't on it, and I don't think that warrants his name being included here. If that were the case, we would have to list Carroll O'Connor (or Norman Lear) for the All in the Family stamp. BrainyBroad 17:28, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Revisiting Inclusion Guidelines[edit]

This list appears to have been orphaned after 2002, so I have started working on updating and cleaning it up. I can see that a lot of debate has occurred regarding who merits inclusion in the list, but I still think that many names should be removed. I propose that people should be included if, and only if, their identifiable likeness or name appears on the face of a stamp or, in some cases, the selvedge of a souvenir sheet.

The current inclusion criteria are problematic in the following ways:

  • Inconsistent. Keeping an artist on the list because his art is on a stamp is unfair if that stamp was not designed specifically to honor the artist (i.e. the art was chosen due to its subject matter). After all, the artwork on every stamp was designed by someone, famous or not, and consistency would demand every single artist of all 4,000 (or so) stamps be catalogued.
  • Questionable Intent. If a person cannot be obviously identified by looking directly at a stamp, then I contend that the United States Postal Service did not intend to "honor" them, despite some philatelic references to the contrary. If you hand a stamp catalog to the man in the street, there's no way they would be able to pick out the stamp honoring/featuring/using the artwork of Leffert L. Buck (as only one example). Stamps featuring an invention but not noting the inventor, or a book, movie or TV program but not noting the creator, would also fall into this category. Even though I prefer pruning these entries, at the very least I would like to see a notation (like Scott #) next to the entry so I can figure out which stamp is being referenced.
  • Incorrect. Current method allows living people (see Bill Cosby note) to be listed although they are specifically prohibited from being the subject of a stamp.

BrainyBroad 20:19, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

I agree with 1) and 3), and have been generally operating under that assumption when working on lists for other countries. For 2), it's generally pretty clear if a postal authority intends to honor someone, because their announcement and first-day program say so. I do agree that the existence of an apparent connection is not sufficient; that could be said to be "original research", because one discerning an intent that was never explicitly stated. Stan 23:20, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can understand that people would trust the USPS announcement when determining intent, but that's harder to verify after the fact. Including such "behind the scenes" info would dissuade me from pruning the list, even though I'm sure there are people listed that just don't belong. BrainyBroad 02:32, August 25, 2005 (UTC)
The announcements eventually turn into the little one-liners in stamp catalogs, other publications as well, and websites these days. You can always ask me too, I have a couple shelves of philatelic literature. Stan 12:25, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since you're working over the list, you might consider adding one-phrase descriptions of each person, a la List of people on stamps of Australia, so readers can get an idea of what the unfamiliar names are notable for. Just plain text (no links) is sufficient, the bios already have those links. Stan 23:26, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the suggestion. I was planning on adding some descriptions, but mainly focusing on those people who don't have a page yet (red links). Unfortunately I don't know who many of the obscure people are (especially when I can't figure out which stamp they're linked to!) so it might take a while. BrainyBroad 02:32, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

Splitting page[edit]

I've marked this page for a potential split because it's getting extremely long. I'd like to see it split to make it more manageable. Some possibilities:

  1. People portrayed on stamps (to remain on this page)—people who are actually pictured on stamps
  2. Artists of stamps of the United States (this list already exists)—Move all artists to this list unless their likeness appears on the stamp.
  3. List of people on Confederate States of America stamps
  4. List of people on U.S. Revenue stamps
  5. List of people on non-stamp postal products (name needs work, I know!)—Would include postal stationery, FDCs (like Liberty Hyde Bailey), & people otherwise associated with stamps when neither their name nor picture appears.

BrainyBroad 07:47, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

Since no one's commented since I posted over 2 weeks ago, I'm going to start splitting this page. BrainyBroad 00:53, 22 September 2005 (UTC) You're right, as usual, Stan :) I'm giving up on trying to make the page shorter. BrainyBroad 03:49, 25 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, I didn't notice until now. I think that you will be disappointed - the CSA and revenue lists are going to be short and not have much effect on overall length. People on non-stamp postal products should not be in this list in the first place (it says "stamps" in the article title for a reason :-) ). Artists honored but not depicted should stay on I think, because the "honoring" is the main list criterion, and it will be harder to explain a different criterion to future editors clearly ("recognizably depicted" is more subjective for instance). If it's any consolation, this list is likely the longest of any country except for maybe Russia, so this is not a general problem - sometimes lists are just long. Stan 01:44, 22 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

people on stamps[edit]

Sun Yat Sen? U.S. stamp. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I believe William Alexander Coulter was also on a stamp. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 27 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Audie Murphy should also be listed as a Medal Of Honor winner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Star Wars characters?[edit]

Do Star Wars characters count as people? Darth Vader -- more machine than person? RussNelson 15:56, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think we'd want those on List of fictional characters on stamps of the United States or somes such; there have been dozens of fictionals, such as Disney characters, comic book heroes, etc, that have been on US stamps previously, and none of them are listed here either. Stan 16:15, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was going to suggest the same thing. That list would be pretty big by now, actually, with all the Disney and Warner Bros. characters. Torc2 19:15, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But Mark Hamill, Natalie Portman, etc. are clearly and recognizably depicted... and are still living too. It seems odd that they qualify as acceptable postage stamp visages. Previous actors, like W.C. Fields and Charlie Chapman, needed to be dead before being portrayed, even though they appeared in character on the stamp... Perhaps the actors should be listed with some sort of explanation. ---Ransom (-- (talk) 19:13, 11 April 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]
We'd also need to have a special case for Smokey Bear. He's not a fictional character, but he's also not a person, yet he was the subject of a stamp (Showing both the "real" Smokey Bear and his artistic depiction). (talk) 01:12, 31 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Official USPS criteria for inclusion[edit]

What criteria does the Postal Service use for inclusion? Does Congress have any say in the process? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. Also note that the "talk" pages of an article are used for discussing improvements to the article, not questions about the subject. For questions, start at WP:Q, and then try WP:RD. BrainyBroad (talk) 15:16, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Selena removed - here's why[edit]

I see that Selena was on this list as having a stamp issued in 2006. I have removed her due to the fact that there were stamps, but they weren't issued by the USPS. The Selena stamps were issued by a company called Premier Postage. Their site claims to produce stamps using themes that are licensed by various folks that can be used as postage (the site also claims the USPS has authorized this). In Selena's case it appears her estate licensed her image to this company and they produced stamps. While these stamps may be valid for US postage, I feel she doesn't qualify for this list due to the stamps being issued by a private firm and not by the USPS. For more on this, See: News from PremierPostage, Selena : Coming to a Mailbox Near You, Selena to be featured on a postage stamp. - Thanks, Hoshie 10:00, 13 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Makes sense to me. In the era of personalized stamps, we should limit list membership to those designs that went through CSAC and the rest of the official honoree process. Stan (talk) 15:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With the advent of personalized postage stamps where anyone can print any image they want and have it be valid for postage, perhaps the name of this article should be changed to reflect the original intent. Maybe "List of people on Government Issued Stamps of the U.S."? Bad, I know, but someone could probably suggest something better. BrainyBroad (talk) 15:22, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think we need to get overly pedantic about the title; after all, we're not ever going to have a list of all people who ever appeared on every imaginable personalized stamp. It should be sufficient to add an explanatory note at the top of the list, in addition to the existing notes about the criteria for being "on a stamp". Stan (talk) 19:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Non-free tag question[edit]

I have removed a non-free tag that was placed on this article that questioned copyright-protected images; this applies to images of stamps issued after 1978. Unless I am mistaken (and I apologize in advance if I am), WP:NFC states that images on stamps can be presented “for identification of the stamp or currency, not its subject.” Since the article is about a list of stamps featuring prominent people, it would seem appropriate to have some images identifying the stamps in question. While such images of stamps may not be appropriate in the biographical articles of these individuals, I don't think there is a problem having the images in an article on stamps. If this is a problem, however, I will replace the stamps with those issued prior to 1978, which are all public domain images. Pastor Theo (talk) 01:53, 21 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My issue is that there are too many, not that there are any non-free stamps at all. neuro(talk) 15:44, 21 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is definitely a borderline case, because the article is indeed philatelic. One of the things with non-free images on WP is that randoms will come out of the woodwork to complain about and/or remove usages of non-free images, *forever*. So one has to be prepared to defend the uses indefinitely, and in a case like this where plenty of free images are on hand, eventually they're going to seem like more trouble than they're worth. Stan (talk) 23:48, 21 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Better referencing[edit]

I've started going through recent issues of several stamp publications that I have available in my collection (so far this includes Linn's Stamp News [Special Edition], American Philatelist, USA Philatelic and Topical Time) to add better references to individual listings on this page. I stuck mostly to articles that specifically noted a person's image or name on stamps; mention of Washington and Franklin on stamps appear in an extreme number of articles, so I didn't include those in my efforts so far. I also tried to keep the reference names to a consistent standard using the format "publicationabbreviation-volume-issue-titleabbreviation" and sorted the refs in the references section accordingly.

There is quite a lot more referencing that can be done in this list, so I encourage other editors to join in the effort. Slambo (Speak) 21:48, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Harry Potter or Daniel Radcliffe?[edit]

So I'm going through some more references and adding to the list, but I'm stuck on the Harry Potter issue of November 19, 2013 ( listing). The stamps are images from the films, so my question is do we list the character names or the actor names? I'm tempted to use the actor names because they are the real people that are shown. Thoughts? Thanks. Slambo (Speak) 16:26, 23 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've started the list of fictional characters on stamps of the United States after some discussion on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philately. Slambo (Speak) 22:37, 24 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Why list, not sortable table?[edit]

I came to this article looking for individuals who appeared on recent stamps, but this list does not appear to allow the user to sort it other than by surname. I could also imagine that other Wikipedia readers might want to sort by description so they can see, for exmple, all the authors, artists, or presidents grouped with others of the same ilk.

Agreed. Would be nice to sort by date of release as well. (talk) 16:18, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think a dynamic sortable table is a great idea as well! Mikepascoe (talk) 19:31, 26 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about a photo gallery?[edit]

Wouldn't it be preferable to gather all the images under a "Gallery" section and do away with the unseemly white space? -The Gnome (talk) 07:03, 21 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing[edit]

US General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) is missing from the list. He was featured on at least one stamp, an 8c commemorative issue (Scott 1214) released in 1961. (talk) 21:25, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just added him to the list: Mikepascoe (talk) 19:30, 26 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marilyn Monroe[edit]

I have a sheet of non-denominational Marilyn Monroe stamps (a portrait). But I don't know the year of issue. Can someone help? BMJ-pdx (talk) 19:31, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe you have the 1995 issue of the 32 cent Legends of Hollywood Marilyn Monroe. More details here: Mikepascoe (talk) 19:22, 26 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]