Order Oysters, Cinderella Stamp 1912-1915
In philately, a cinderella stamp is "virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration..."
A Brief History of Oystering on Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island Quadrangles Magazine
1700 Oysters first harvested exclusively as a raw material for lime production.
1734 Colonial Assembly outlaws the practice as an unacceptable waste of oyster meat.
1766 Colonial Assembly passes first law to prevent oyster overfishing.
1798 Law mandating a seasonal closure of the oyster beds is enacted; first lease granted.
1843 New state constitution sets the people’s right to “enjoy and freely exercise all the rights of fishery, and the privileges of the shore.”
1844 Oyster Act enhances oyster production and establishes leasing protocols.
1850s General Assembly passes laws to encourage shellfish aquaculture, including allowing private lessees to harvest oysters from public beds for seed stock.
1896 Industrial pollution causes population to decrease as production increases. First marine laboratory established in Jerusalem to determine why.
1905 Two lease holders sue Providence Gas Company for polluting beds with coal tar discharges.
1911 Peak production of oysters with 1,394,983 bushels landed.
1920s Effects of pollution evident.
1938 Great Hurricane destroys oyster infrastructure, accelerating a decline begun in the Great Depression. Many oyster companies never reopen.
1954 Warren Oyster Company closes, the last of two oyster companies.
*Courtesy Henry Voigt Collection
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