#5277 - Technology
2018 50c STEM Education
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: April 6, 2018
First Day City: Washington, DC
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 15,000,000 stamps
Technology is created to help us learn more about the world and solve our problems. So it is crucial that we encourage children to pursue careers in this field. Children from all walks of life can take inspiration from technological pioneers from the past.
Jan Ernst Matzeliger was an immigrant from Dutch Guiana who was skilled with machinery and mechanics. He used that talent to revolutionize the shoe industry. In the 1800s, it took craftsmen 10 hours to attach soles to 50 pairs of shoes. Matzeliger developed a machine that could make up to 700 pairs of shoes in the same amount of time. This cut the price of shoes in half and has been called “the greatest step forward in the shoe industry.”
Another pioneer was Ada Lovelace, regarded as the first computer programmer. While translating an article about Charles Babbage’s calculating machine, she included many of her own notes. These notes – an algorithm for the machine to follow – are considered to be the first computer program. She also suggested the machine could handle letters and symbols, instead of just numbers. Her ideas were put to use with the arrival of modern computer science in the 1950s.
Forward thinkers such as Matzeliger and Lovelace helped change the world. Today’s children can follow in their footsteps by developing the technology we need to solve the problems of the future.