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Honouring Ern

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1999 New Zealand $1.10
Leading the Way - The Millennium Series - Part Five.
The group of six stamps on New Zealanders "Leading the Way" was released 17 Nov 1999 as part of the lead-up to the Millennium celebrations.

40c    -   Womans suffrage     - 1893
80c    -  Powered Flight          - 1903 (Richard Pearse)
$1.10 -  Splitting the Atom    - 1917 (Ernest Rutherford)
$1.20 -  Jet Boat                    - 1953 (Bill Hamilton)
$1.50 -  Mt Everest               - 1953 (Ed Hillary)
$1.80 -  Nuclear Free             - 1987

As I was helping an unsuccessful entrant in the design competition, I didn't have any involvement with this stamp apart from pleading with the post office to use, regardless of who won, an image of Rutherford as a young man. Had I been involved I would have suggested using 1917, the date he first did his work rather than 1919 the year he finally published his work. It is interesting to note the illustration concerns the nuclear model of the atom, for which internationally he is most famous, not the splitting of the atom, which is a widespread belief as to his main fame only prevalent in New Zealand. See the "How Myths are Created" section of the epilogue of my book "Rutherford Scientist Supreme" for how this arose in New Zealand.

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