The U.S. Postal Service salutes America’s industrial-era workers in a new series of Forever stamps. Unveiled Thursday, the 12-piece Made in America: Building a Nation collection includes images of a millinery assistant and a textile worker by Lewis Hine, a photographer best known for documenting the working conditions of child laborers in the early 20th century. “With Labor Day around the corner, the Postal Service is proud to honor the men and women who helped build this country with their own hands,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe at the stamps’ launch. “They mined the coal that warmed our homes. They made the clothes we wore on our backs. Let each stamp serve as a small reminder of the dedication, work ethic, and sacrifices that make America great.”

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WORKERS OF AMERICA

As the stamps show, women played a critical role in the country’s salad days. Textile and millinery workers spent countless hours toiling in factories with neither thanks nor recognition.

Textile and millinery workers spent countless hours toiling in factories with neither thanks nor recognition.

Tom Perez, the recently appointed Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, likened the stamps to a miniature American portrait gallery. “They are an expression of our values and a connection to our past. That’s why it’s so fitting that that this series depicts Americans at work. These iconic images tell a powerful story about American economic strength and prosperity. These men and women and millions like them really did build a nation.”

+ Made in America: Building a Nation

+ U.S. Postal Service