Stamp of innovation

Stamp of innovation

Royal Mail Colossus stamp

With the success of recent films featuring the likes of Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, techie types are clearly pretty cool to UK consumers right now, says Maria Stadtmüller. Little wonder, then, that the Royal Mail has issued a series of postage stamps which depict eight key innovations developed by British inventors. Cue the Colossus computer, world wide web, catseyes, fibre optics, stainless steel, carbon fibre, DNA sequencing and the i-limb.

For the record, the Colossus is the lesser-known version of Turing’s enigma and was developed by the GPO, a forerunner of the Royal Mail, during World War II to decipher messages sent between high-ranking officials in Germany and army commanders in the field, The five-tonne Colossus machine became operational at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.

The Colossus stamp design includes a representation of the ticker tape used to input data.

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