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New gallery opens at National Postal Museum

Courtesy National Postal Museum

WASHINGTON — The new 12,000-square-foot William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, which opened September 22 at the National Postal Museum, added a new dimension to the museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution.

The gallery, one of the largest in the world dedicated to philately, has six thematic areas at street level, adjacent to the current space, which is largely below ground in the neoclassical City Post Office Building near Union Station.

The gallery includes a block of four of America’s most famous stamp, the Inverted Jenny of 1918, which shows an upside-down biplane due to a printing error; an envelope recovered from a Pony Express satchel seized by Native Americans in 1860; and the only envelope ever postmarked on the moon.

To mark the opening, the U.S. Postal Service issued a replica Inverted Jenny for $2.

The exhibition “Stamps Around the Globe” features at least one stamp from every country, including some that no longer exist, that have ever printed stamps.

Another area shows examples of how stamp content, design and production have changed over time.

A block-long wall of windows fronting Massachusetts Avenue, which will be lit at night, features reproductions of 54 historic U.S. stamps.