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"The Splendor of Steam" is the theme of a new set of five stamps from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The new stamps feature steam engines used on the island during the late 19th century and part of the 20th century.

The 20 pence shows the Isle of Man Highway Board's 5-ton Foden Wagon. This wagon was still in use in the late 1950s, long after England stopped operating them. The wagon shown is circa 1920.The 24 p depicts a Clayton & Shuttleworth 6 hp and 7 hp. These two engines once transported the carcass of a stranded whale up a steep hill, with one engine in front and the other in the back to push.

The 30 p displays a Wallis and Stevens 6 hp alongside the harbor in Ramsey. The date is circa 1917.

The 35 p illustrates a Marshall 6 hp single cylinder traction engine. This was one of the first types of traction engines used on the island. The time is 1908 and the location is Port Erin.

The 41 p has a view of the Marshall 5 hp Convertible roller-traction engine that was supplied new in 1922. It has been restored and is on exhibit at summer shows.

Each stamp also bears a vignette silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II in an upper corner.

For further information you may write the Philatelic Bureau, P.O. Box 10 M, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99, 1PB, 1624686130. Or contact the Society of Philatelic Americans, P.O. Box 28503, Philadelphia, Pa. 19149. The five mint stamps are $10.95, first-day covers $12.95, both for $19.95.

- Syd Kronish