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  Space Cover 40: Gemini Twin Stamp FDC

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 40: Gemini Twin Stamp FDC

Posts: 135
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 01-18-2010 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 40 (January 18, 2010)

Space Cover #40: Gemini Twin Stamp FDC

The Space Cover this week is a First Day Cover for the 1967 Gemini Twin Space Stamps.

The setenent stamps feature Gemini Astronaut Ed White's spacewalking on the left stamp and the Gemini capsule on the right. Issued September 29, 1967, the painting for the stamp design was one painted by my father, Paul Calle and was his first United States Postal Service stamp design assignment. He recalled that "The design of the "Twin Space Stamp" presented me with a challenge unique in postal stamp design at the time. The assignment was to design a commemorative issue that would symbolize the succesful conclusion of the NASA Project Gemini Program of Space Exploration. The unique aspect of the challenge was to conceive a design that graphically would be pleasing when used as a double stamp, and, when one twin was seperated from the other, the design of the single stamp had to be a complete composition of it's own."

The image on the cover is an original pencil drawing on the envelope done by my father after the stamps were issued in 1967.

This cover, like many other items I have recently unearthed, had been sitting in boxes unopened for decades and most likely would have remained there but for the fact that last year as I was doing research for a book on my father's NASA Artwork.

I began to sift through boxes and files and what a treat was in store for me. My dad also certainly enjoyed seeing all these old drawings and writings made during his Mercury, Gemni and Apollo years as a NASA artist covering every aspect of manned Space Flight. Sketches for paintings, Hand drawn First Day covers, letters from astronauts like Mike Collins and Bill Anders, and fellow NASA artists like Bob McCall, Lamar Dodd and Jim Dean, all recalled a time of excitement when anything seemed possible around Cape Kennedy and the world waited for the next launch in the Space Race.

Chris Calle


Posts: 292
From: Millersville, Maryland
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 01-18-2010 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris, a great Space Cover of the Week for one of my favorite USA space stamps, the so-called "Space Twins" issue for Ed White's spacewalk during Gemini 4. Did not know that your Dad had designed the twin stamps. What a great piece of artwork to have the cover signed by your Dad, and relocated after all these years. Great story, too!

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42985
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-18-2010 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It just dawned on me that these stamps were released after Ed White's death.

Chris, do you know when your father received the assignment for the design and when his final artwork was submitted for production? Did White know prior to his tragic loss that the USPS planned to depict his spacewalk?

Was there any discussion after his death to revise the design in anyway to mark White's passing?


Posts: 135
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 01-25-2010 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The stamp was designed after the tragedy of Apollo 1 and the assignment was to depict an image representational of the successful completion of the Gemini Program.

There was no discussion to commemorate Ed White on the stamp but I do know that White's father was very insistent that the Postal Service acknowledge that his son was depicted on the stamp.

All times are CT (US)

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