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Special cancellation stamp will commemorate battle

September 09, 2002|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A special cancellation stamp to commemorate the Battle of Antietam's 140th anniversary, with a logo designed by Herald-Mail editorial graphic artist Ryan Harpster, will be available beginning Thursday at The Maryland Theatre.

The cancellation stamp, a handstamp placed over the postage stamp, and the cachet, an illustrated medium-sized envelope, will be available during Thursday's preview of the movie "Gods and Generals."

The theater will host two half-hour previews of the Civil War movie at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The stamp will then be available through Oct. 12 in post offices in Hagerstown.

The logo, a Civil War cannon on its carriage with "The Battle of Antietam, 1862-2002, 140th Anniversary" above it and "Re-enactment September 12-15, 2002" posted beneath it, was created with the intent of representing the battle and its antiquity, Harpster said.

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The stamp is free and can be placed on any item taken into the post office or on a self-addressed envelope sent to the facility.

The cachet, with an illustration of the Battle at Burnside Bridge by local artist Amy Barr, will cost $3 and will be available at the Hagerstown Post Office at 44 W. Franklin St.

"It's a collectible item and something you can (use to) remember the event we chose to be a part of," said Keith Guerrin, postmaster of the Hagerstown Post Office.

Carol Barr, sales and service associate with the post office, said the post office usually has special cancellation stamps for area events. Such cancellations draw stamp collectors, she said.

The last cancellation stamp, for the 2002 Blues Fest, drew interest from as far away as Germany, she said.

Barr said the Antietam stamp will be advertised nationwide in The Postal Bulletin, and some stamp collector magazines will pick up the advertisement.

"We expect this one to be really popular," she said.

Barr said she saw Harpster's original design about a month ago in The Herald-Mail as the paper's 140th Battle of Antietam logo, and called to ask the newspaper if the post office could use it for its stamp.

Harpster has worked for The Herald-Mail for four years. He said he designed the logo in February to accompany Antietam-related stories he knew would be running in connection with the 140th commemoration.

"It's an honor that the federal government chose something that I designed," he said.

Harpster, 29, a graduate of Williamsport High School and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, said he has thought about submitting a design for a postage stamp, but said there is a three-year waiting period to even get a design acknowledged.

He has won Best of Show awards in Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association competitions for his graphic designs used in The Herald-Mail newspapers.

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