The man depicted in portrait form and as the main character on the stamps issued by China in 1960 was a Canadian physician, medical innovator, and noted communist. He became expert in thoracic surgery and developed or modified more than a dozen new surgical tools.
Norman Bethune achieved acclaim first for his service as a frontline surgeon supporting the democratically elected Republican government during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). But it was his service in China with the Communist Eighth Route Army during China’s second war with Japan (1937-1945) that would earn him enduring gratitude.
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As a young boy collecting stamps I was often more attracted to those with colour and shape rather than rarity. Diamond-shaped stamps from Hungary, Monaco and the Burundi particularly caught my eye.
The stamp on the left is from Hungary 1953, overprinted to celebrate a famous 6 goals to 3 victory by the national team over England at Wembley Stadium.
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Advances in the field of medical surgery have been dramatic and it´s possible that some philatelists find the subject interesting to collect. My father´s life was extended by many years as a result of two open heart operations. An amazing coincidence was that the surgeon who carried out the second operation had the same name as my father. He even gave me an impromptu tour of the operating theatre the day before the operation and explained the use of the various tools and instruments laid out awaiting his skilled hands.
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The US Postal Service has made history after a stamp which they placed on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft travelled a mind-boggling 5,250,843,896 km (3,262,723,132 miles) – all the way to the planet Pluto.
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Well, it’s only 2,500 miles!! It is now almost 158 years ago that one man’s dedication and perseverance bore fruit. Cyrus W. Field, a retired American paper merchant, formed a company in 1854 with the intention of improving and speeding up communication between North America and Britain. The idea was to transmit telecommunication signals between those lands.
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New stamps appear regularly with a variety of subjects. Below is a selection of recently-published stamps from around the globe.
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As long ago as 1966, Belgium issued a stamp with a dinosaur on it. Very revolutionary for the time. On May 28 of that year, a stamp was released with a picture of the skeleton of an Iguanodon.
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Although many previous attempts, some successful, have been made to transport mail by rocket, only one postal administration in the world has issued stamps to celebrate its country’s use of this strange method in the past.
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