Another stamp more interesting than #292 is #961. 961 commemorates 100 years of U.S. friendship with Canada and the opening of the original Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge. The bridge was replaced by another suspension bridge, the one pictured on the stamp, around 1855 and later by the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge in 1897.
I like 961 because if it’s clean design and symmetry. There’s a lot of information on 961 was only the 9th US stamp to picture a train, but that’s not of particular interest. More info about trains on stamps can be found on Alphabetilately’s page Trains on US Stamps and on this stamp specifically. What I think is really important about this stamp is the calm, natural feel of the stamp. The Niagara river is calmly flowing between the two countries as the train makes it’s way safely across. What better metaphor for US/Canada relations?
The balance of the stamp also reminds us that international relationships, even good, calm ones as we have with Canada, are about balance and mutual interest. The stamp’s blue color gives a sense of hope and aspiration. The sky and river are immediate and the heading is simple. There is no towering skyline on either side of the river. There is no inherent assertion of dominance by one country to another.