Five lighthouses that for centuries enabled sailors to navigate safely in the waters along the northeastern United States, will be issued as the New England Coastal Lighthouse Forever stamps.
This is the sixth issuance of the series, which features five lighthouses: Portland Head (Cape Elizabeth, Maine); Portsmouth Harbor (New Castle, N.H.); Boston Harbor (Boston, Mass.); Point Judith (Narragansett, R.I.) and New London Harbor (New London, Conn.).
Visit: usps.com/lighthouses to view videos of the five lighthouses.
The New England Coastal Lighthouse Forever stamps.
Portland Head: Maine's oldest lighthouse, Portland Head was established in 1791. The construction of the tower was among the first acts of the Lighthouse Establishment, a federal agency created in 1789. The original rubblestone lighthouse still stands and looks much as it did in the late 1800s.
Portsmouth Harbor: The first navigational aid in New Hampshire was established in Portsmouth Harbor, the state's only deep-water port. Although citizens had demanded a lighthouse as early as 1721, it was not until 50 years later that the Portsmouth Harbor's first beacon was lit. An iron lantern topped the 50-foot shingled tower; three copper lamps provided the light.
Boston Harbor: Commonly called the Boston Harbor Light, North America's first true light station, was built in 1716 at the urging of the city's business community. Three years later a cannon - America's first fog signal - was added to the light station. During the Revolutionary War, as British forces abandoned the area in 1776, they demolished the lighthouse by blowing it up. Boston Harbor Light is also commonly called Boston Light.
Point Judith: Located at the entrance to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, Point Judith Lighthouse guards a particularly dangerous area of the Atlantic. The point, which extends several miles into the Atlantic, has seen many shipwrecks, even after the addition of the lighthouse.
New London Harbor: Connecticut's oldest and tallest lighthouse, New London Harbor Lighthouse, was originally established in 1761. Financed by a lottery held by the Connecticut colonial legislature, the first lighthouse was a 64-foot tower that included a wooden lantern.
The stamp art for each of the lighthouses is a painting based on contemporary photographs. The stamps were designed by art directors Howard E. Paine of Delaplane, Va., and Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Va., painted by artist Howard Koslow of Toms River, N.J.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Kathleen Swanson is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.