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Designs of the 1975 Series - The Americana Issue
Printer: Bureau of Engraving and Printing · 
Perforations:
Sheet stamps are perforated 11x10.5; Coil stamps are perforated 10 vertically - unless noted otherwise - 
Print Method:
(unless noted otherwise) Sheet: Rotary Press (EE), plates of 400, split into 4 panes of 100 · Coil: Cottrell Press 432 stamp plates, rolls of 500 & 3000 stamps · Booklet: 3-color Intaglio (B) Press
Tagging: Overall tagged unless stated otherwise; pre-cancelled stamps were not tagged · Overall stamp size: 0.84 x 0.99 in.
Designers: All designers, modelers and engravers worked for the BEP, unless noted otherwise - "KML&G" is used as an abbreviation for the design firm of Kramer, Miller, Lomden & Glassman 
Quantity Issued: Official quantities issued for most of these stamps were not released or are simply unknown.

  Roots of Democracy in America                   First Day Ceremony (1¢-4¢): 12/8/1977 - St. Louis MO · The 1¢ & 4¢ stamps were not issued to meet any existing postal rate requirement
Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Cat. # Type Collectible Varieties
1¢ dark blue "Inkwell and Quill"
"The Ability to Write · A Root of Democracy"
on greenish paper
First Day for the coil stamp: 3/6/1980 New York City
Design Firm: Kramer, Miller, Lomden & Glassman 
Modeler: Clarence Holbert 
Engravers: Edward P. Archer (vignette);
A. Saaverdra (lettering)
1581 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PL # blk (4); margin blk w/"Use Zip Codes"; horiz. gutter pr.; 
hollow numeral
1581a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled
1581c sheet stamp; white paper; dull gum ---
1581d untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled dull and shiny gum
1811 horizontal coil (dull and shiny gum) Note: There are no plate numbers on the coil stamps (cut away with selvage); both 1811a and 1811 may have joint lines (JLP)
1811a imperforate coil pair
1811b horiz. coil tagging omitted
2¢ red brown "Speaker's Stand"
"Freedom to Speak Out · A Root of Democracy"
on greenish paper · usage: makeup postage
Designer/Modeler: V. Jack Ruther ·  Engravers:  Joseph S. Creamer, Jr. (vignette)  ·  Dennis Brown (lettering)
1582 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB(4); ZIP Blk (4); margin block w/"Use Zip Codes" (1582 only); 
scarlet color variety
1582b tagged; cream paper; dull gum (1981)
1582a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled
1582c untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
3¢ olive green "Early Ballot Box"
"To Cast a Free Ballot · A Root of Democracy"
on greenish paper · usage: makeup postage
Designer/Modeler: C. Holbert
Engravers: Thomas R. Hipschen (vignette)  ·  
James L. Goodbody (lettering)
1584 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block; vert. gutter pair; 
olive brown & light to black brown
1584a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1584b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
4¢ rose magenta "Books, Bookmark, Eyeglasses"
"A Public That Reads · A Root of Democracy"
on cream paper · usage: makeup postage
Designer/Modeler: V. J. Ruther ·  Engravers: 
Edward P. Archer (vignette)  ·  Robert G. Cullin, Sr. (lettering)
1585 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB(4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip Blk (4)
1585a untagged sheet stamp; precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1585b untagged; not precanceled dull & shiny gum

   Souvenir Pages: Cat. # SP376 with one each of the1¢-4¢ stamps;  Cat. # SP392 with the 1¢ Inkwell coil

  Rights and Freedoms of the American People 
Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm (sheet); 
19.3 x 21.8 mm (coil) - 18.3 x 21.1 mm (booklet)
Cat. # Type Collectible Varieties
9¢ slate green "Dome of Capitol"
"Right of People Peaceably to Assemble"
on gray paper · issued to meet a new postcard 
rate, effective Dec. 28, 1978
Sheet and Coil stamps
First Days: Sheet Stamp: 11/24/1975 D.C.; 
Coil: 3/5/1976 Milwaukee WI 
Designer: Walter Brooks · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Engravers: Kenneth Kipperman (vignette) 
James L. Goodbody (lettering)
Booklet stamps - First Day 3/11/1977 NYC
Designer: Esther Porter · Modeler: Esther Porter · Engravers: Edward P. Archer (vignette) · 
Dennis Brown (lettering)
1590 17.5 x 20.5mm; single from setenant booklet pane Sc1623a; perf 11 x 10.5 - white paper pair with full horizontal gutter between; setenant pair w/13¢
1590A 17.5 x 20.5mm; single from  Sc1623Bc; 
perf 10 x 9.75 - on white paper
setenant pair with 13¢
1591 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block (4); hollow numeral
1591a untagged sheet stamp; precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1591b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
1616 tagged sidewise coil stamp joint line pair
1616b untagged, Bureau precanceled coil  shiny and dull gum; JLP
1616a tagged imperforate coil pair joint line pair
1616c untagged, imperf. precanceled coil pair joint line pair

   Souvenir Pages: SP377 (Sc1591); SP398 (Sc1616)

10¢ violet "Contemplation of Justice"
"People's Right to Petition for Redress"
on gray paper · issued to meet a new postcard 
rate, to be effective May 29, 1978
First Days: Sheet Stamp: 11/17/1977 NYC; 
Coil Stamp: 11/4/1977 Tampa FL
Designer: Walter Brooks · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: K. Kipperman · Lettering: R. G. Cullin, Sr.
1592 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block (4); hollow numeral
1592a untagged; Bureau precanceled (Chicago) PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1592b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
1617 tagged sidewise coil (shiny and dull gum) joint line pair; hollow numeral
1617a untagged, Bureau precanceled coil  shiny and dull gum; JLP
1617b imperforate coil pair shiny and dull gum; JLP

   Souvenir Pages: SP378 (Sc1592); SP398A (Sc1617)

11¢ orange "Early American Printing Press"
"Liberty Depends on Freedom of the Press"

First Day: 11/13/1975 Philadelphia PA · on gray paper
Issued to be used in combination with the 13¢ stamp 
to pay the 2nd oz. on a 1st class letter, effective 12/28/1975
Designer: Walter Brooks · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: K. Kipperman · Lettering: Albert Saavedra
1593 tagged sheet stamp PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block; vert. gutter pair
1593a tagging omitted ---

   Souvenir Page: SP379 (Sc1593)

12¢ red brown "Torch, Statue of Liberty"
"Freedom of Conscience · An American Right"

First Day (sheet and coil): 4/8/1981 Dallas TX · on beige paper
Issued to pay the existing first class pre-sort rate, and 
a new postcard rate, effective 11/1/1981
Designer: George Mercer · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: Albert Saavedra
1594 tagged sheet stamp PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1594a tagging omitted ---
1816 tagged sidewise coil  joint line pair
1816a untagged sidewise coil joint line pair
1816c untagged coil  on reddish beige paper joint line pair
1816b imperforate sidewise coil pair joint line pair

  Souvenir Pages: SP380 (Sc1594 & 1816 - both the sheet and coil stamp)

  Symbols of America
Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Cat. # Type Collectible Varieties
13¢ multi-colored "Eagle and Shield"
"One Nation Indivisible · E Pluribus Unum"

First Day: 12/1/1975 Juneau AK · on cream paper
Printed on the Andreotti Press (Photogravure)
Paid the new 1st-class letter rate of 13¢, effective 12/31/1975
Designer: James L. Womer, KML&G · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: James F. Goodbody
1596 perf 11.2 (holes line up at corner stamps) PB(12); PB(20) w/6 pl#'s; "Use Correct ZIP code" blk;  vertical gutter pair; red or black missing color are altered forgeries
1596d line perforated, perf 11 
(holes do not line up perfectly)
PB(12) w/6 PL#
1596b perf 11.2 yellow omitted color error ---
1596a imperforate pair ---

  Souvenir Page: SP381 (Sc1596)

13¢ brown "Liberty Bell"
"Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land"

First Day (bklt panes of 6, 7 or 8): 10/31/1975 Cleveland OH 
This was the 1st "Americana" stamp,  and was issued to 
meet the new 1st-class letter rate of 13¢, effective 12/31/1975
First Day (coil stamp): 11/25/1975 Allentown PA
First Day (booklet pane of 5): 4/2/1976 Liberty MO

Booklets: Combination Press (web mono-color intaglio - 
plates of 460 subjects, cut into panes of 100, which were subsequently cut to meet the booklet pane requirements)
Coil Stamps: Engraved, Combination Press, 460 subject plates, cut into rolls of 100, 500 and 3000 stamps
Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: Albert Saavedra
1595 booklet single ---
1595a booklet pane of 6 ---
1595b booklet pane of 7 + 1 Label ---
1595c booklet pane of 8 ---
1595d booklet pane of 5 + Label ---
1595e vertical pair imperforate between (from paper foldover - bklt stamp)
1595f tagging omitted (booklet stamp) ---
1595g horizontal pair imperforated between (from paper foldover - bklt stamp)
1618 tagged sidewise coil - shiny and dull gum shiny or dull gum; JLP
red brown; dark brown
1618a untagged sidewise coil (pre-cancelled)
1618b imperforate coil pair joint line pair
1618g coil pair imperforate between (perf 10) ---
1618h imperf. untagged coil pair pre-cancelled ---

  Souvenir Page: SP399 (Sc1618)

15¢ gray, dark blue & red "Fort McHenry Flag"
"The Land of the Free · The Home of the Brave"

First Day (sheet, coil, bklt): 6/30/78 Baltimore MD; cream paper
Issued to pay the new 1st class letter rate, effective 5/29/1978 
Sheet stamp: Cat. # 1597: Engraved - Combination (A) Press, 460-subject plates, cut into panes of 100 stamps

Booklets: Cat. # 1598: Engraved - Web 3-color intaglio - 
plates of 832 subjects, cut to meet booklet pane requirements
Coil Stamps: Engraved, Combination Press, 460 subject plates, cut into rolls of 100, 500 and 3000 stamps
Designer: V. Jack Ruther · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Thomas R. Hipschen · Lettering: Robert G. Cullin, Sr.
Design Size (sheet, coil & booklet): 18.034 x 20.828 mm 
Tagging: Large block (unless noted otherwise)
Quantity printed: 596,700,000 coil stamps and 242,528,000 booklet stamps; the number of sheet stamp printed is unknown
1597 sheet stamp; perf 11.2 (holes line up) PB(6); PB(20) with 1 or 2 plate #s
1597a sheet stamp; small block tagging
1597d sheet stamp; tagging omitted ---
1597b gray missing color error; sheet stamp ---
1597c imperf. between & top or bottom - strip (3) 1597c and 1597e 
are sheet stamps
1597e imperforate vertical pair
1598 single from booklet pane - perf 11 x 10.5 ---
1598a booklet pane of 8 ---
1618C tagged sidewise coil  ---
1618Cd imperforate tagged sidewise coil pair ---
1618Ce imperf. between tagged coil pair (perf 10) ---
1618Cf gray omitted color error tagged coil  ---
1618Ci tagging omitted side-wise coil ---

  Souvenir Page: SP382 (Sc1597 & Sc1618C combination) 

16¢ blue "Head, Statue of Liberty"
"I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door"
Although issued to meet a proposed new 1st class rate, the rate was actually 15¢, so this stamp met no existing rate 
First Day: 3/31/78 NYC · white paper · intaglio 460-subj. plate
Designer: Clarence Holbert · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: Thomas J. Bakos
Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil)
1599  sheet stamp - perf 11 x 10.5; intaglio, 460-subject plate, 100-stamp pane PL# block (4);
 "Use Correct ZIP code" block (4)
1619 overall tagged sidewise coil; darker, bluer background than 1619a; Cottrell press  joint line pair
1619a intaglio "B" press; block tagged coil; white background; fractionally smaller than 1619 no joint line

  Souvenir Page: SP383 (Sc1599 and Sc1619 combination)

   America: Historic Places and Signaling Devices
Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Cat. # Type (perf 11 x 10.5) Collectible Varieties
24¢ red "Old North Church, Boston"
"Midnight Ride · One if by Land, Two if by Sea"

1st Day: 11/14/1975 Boston MA · Cottrell Press on blue paper
issued to meet a new rate for the first two ounces 
on 1st-class postage, effective 12/28/1975
Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: James L. Goodbody
1603 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); "Mail Early 
in the Day"; Use ZIP Code; "Mr. ZIP"
1603a tagging omitted

  Souvenir Page: SP384 (Sc1603)

28¢ brown "Fort Nisqually, Washington"
"Remote Outpost · New Nation Building Westward"

First Day: 8/11/1978 Tacoma WA · Intaglio on blue paper
Note: this stamp is slightly wider and shorter ·  issued to meet the rate for the first two ounces of 1st-class postage
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Joseph S. Creamer, Jr. · Lettering: Albert Saavedra
Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil)
1604 tagged sheet stamp;
100 stamps per pane
dull and shiny gum; 
plate # block (4); 
© U. S. Postal Service"; 
® Use Correct ZIP Code; 
® Mr. ZIP

  Souvenir Page: SP385 (Sc1604)

29¢ blue "Sandy Hook Lighthouse, NJ"
"Lonely Beacon · Protecting Those Upon the Sea"

1st Day: 4/14/78 Atlantic City NJ · Intaglio on light blue paper
issued to meet an anticipated new rate for 2 oz. 1st-class postage, effective 5/29/78; when it became 28¢, this stamp became moot, however it did see use on some 3rd class matter, and again after 4/3/91, when the 1st class rate became 29¢
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: John S. Wallace, Jr. · Lettering: Dennis Brown
Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil)
1605 tagged sheet stamp;
100 stamps per pane
dull and shiny gum; 
plate # block (4); 
© U. S. Postal Service"; 
® Use Correct ZIP Code; 
® Mr. ZIP

  Souvenir Page: SP386 (Sc1605)

30¢ green "Morris Township School #2, 
Devil's Lake, North Dakota"
"American Schools · Laying Future Foundations"

1st Day: 8/27/1979 Devil's Lake ND · Intaglio on blue paper
This stamp did not meet any current postal rate and 
was issued primarily to complete the set
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Kenneth Kipperman · Lettering: Gary J. Slaught
1606 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
dull gum reported
plate # block (4); © U. S. Postal Service"; ® Use Correct ZIP Code; ® Mr. ZIP
1606a tagging omitted

  Souvenir Page: SP387 (Sc1606)

  America's Light
Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm · Perf 11 x 11 Cat. # Type Collectible Varieties
The 50¢-$5 stamps were printed in a two-step process, first on a Miller offset press and then on a Giori I-8 currency press. These 
stamps did not satisfy any particular rate requirement but, rather, gradually replaced the higher value Prominent American Series stamps. 
50¢ brown, black & orange "Iron 'Betty' Lamp, 
Plymouth Colony, 17th-18th Centuries"
"America's Light Sustained by Love of Liberty"

First Day: 9/11/1979 San Juan PR· Intaglio on gray paper
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer · Lettering: Thomas J. Bakos
Also referred to as the "Whale Oil Lamp" stamp
Flame shifts (of the orange color) are collectible varieties
A pinkish, rather than orange, flame is reported
1608 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); © U. S. Postal Service"; ® Use Correct ZIP Code; ® Mr. ZIP
1608c tagging omitted
1608a black omitted color error ---
1608b vertical pair imperforate horizontal ---

  Souvenir Page: SP388 (Sc1608)

$1 tan, brown, orange and yellow 
"
Rush Lamp and Candle Holder"
"America's Light Fueled by Truth and Reason"

First Day: 7/2/1979 San Francisco CA· intaglio on gray paper
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas · Lettering: James L. Goodbody
Candle and flame shifts, of the yellow and orange color, and lamp shifts, of the brown color, are collectible varieties
1610 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); © U. S. Postal Service"; ® Use Correct ZIP Code; ® Mr. ZIP
1610d tagging omitted
1610a brown omitted color error ---
1610b tan, orange & yellow omitted error ---
1610c brown color inverted; "CIA" invert ---

  Souvenir Page: SP389 (Sc1610)

$2 dark green, orange and yellow
"
Kerosene Table Lamp"
"America's Light Will Shine Over All the Land"

First Day: 11/16/1978 NYC · Intaglio on gray paper
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Joseph S. Creamer, Jr. · Lettering: Robert G. Cullin, Sr.
Flame shifts, of the yellow and orange color are
collectible
1611 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); © U. S. Postal Service"; ® Use Correct ZIP Code; ® Mr. ZIP
1611a tagging omitted ---

  Souvenir Page: SP390 (Sc1611)

$5 red brown, yellow and orange
"
Railroad Conductor's Lantern"
"America's Light Leads Her Generations Onward"

First Day: 8/23/1979 Boston MA · Intaglio on gray paper
Designer: James Schleyer · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas · Lettering: Dennis Brown
1612 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); © U. S. Postal Service"; ® Use Correct ZIP Code; ® Mr. ZIP

  Souvenir Page: SP391 (Sc1612)

   Music of America              Note: these stamps can not form a mini-set since there is no stamp with the legend in the upper right corner
 
Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm · Perf 10 vertically Cat. # Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties
7.7¢ brown "Saxhorns"
"Marching to the Music of the Union"
1st
Day: 11/20/1976 NYC · Intaglio on canary paper
Designer: Susan Robb · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Engravers: Kenneth Kipperman & A. Saavedra (lettering)
Usage: 3rd class bulk mail decreased rate, effective 7/18/76
1614 overall tagged sidewise coil joint line pair
1614a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1614b imperf. untagged bureau precancel pr. joint line pair

  Souvenir Page: SP395 (Sc1614)

3.1¢ brown "Six-string Guitar"
"Listen with Love to the Music of the Land"

1st Day: 10/25/1979 Shreveport LA · Intaglio on yellow paper
Designer: George Mercer · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas · Lettering: Albert Saavedra
Usage: this was the first coil issued specifically for non-profit use and paid the 3rd-class rate for non-profit bulk mail.
1613 overall tagged sidewise coil dull and shiny gum; joint line pair; hollow numeral
1613a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1613b imperforate coil pair joint line pair

  Souvenir Page: SP393 (Sc1613)

7.9¢ carmine "Drum"
"Beat the Drum for Liberty and the Spirit of '76"

First Day: 4/23/1976 Miami FL · Intaglio on canary paper
Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G · Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: E. P. Archer · Lettering: A. Saavedra & J. Goodbody
Usage: 3rd class bulk mail rate, effective 12/31/75
1615 tagged sidewise coil dull or shiny gum; 
joint line pair
1615a untagged bureau precancel coil 
1615b imperforate coil pair ---

  Souvenir Page: SP396 (Sc1615)

8.4¢ blue "Steinway Grand Piano"
"Peace Unites a Nation Like Harmony in Music"

1st Day: 7/13/1978 Interlochen MI · Intaglio on canary paper
Designer: V. Jack Ruther · Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas · Lettering: James L. Goodbody

Usage: 3rd class bulk mail increased rate, effective 5/29/78
1615C overall tagged sidewise coil; 
shiny gum
joint line pair
1615Cd untagged bureau precancel coil  dull or shiny gum; joint line pair
1615Ce imperf. between bureau precancel coil pair joint line pair
1615Cf imperf. bureau precancel coil pair joint line pair

  Souvenir Page: SP397 (Sc1615C)

3.5¢ purple "Weaver Violins"
"The Music of America is Freedom's Symphony"

1st Day: 6/23/1980 Williamsburg PA · Intaglio on canary paper
Designer: George Mercer · Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas · Lettering: James L. Goodbody
Usage: 3rd class non-profit bulk mail increased rate, 
effective 7/6/1980
1813 overall tagged sidewise coil dull and shiny gum; 
joint line pair
1813a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1813b imperforate coil pair joint line pair

  Souvenir Page: SP394 (Sc1813)

 

* Note that these measurements may not always match measurements published elsewhere. For example the Official Souvenir Page for the Roots of Democracy stamps issued by the USPS, lists the official "Image Area" as "0.75 x 0.87 inches" or "19.3 x 21.8 millimeters". This, simply, is an error in the conversion from inches to millimeters. The conversion factor is  25.4. Thus, 0.75 in. x 25.4 = 19.05 mm and  0.87 in x 25.4 = 22.098 mm, not the 19.3 mm x 21.8 mm listed on the Souvenir Page. On other Souvenir Sheets, the conversion is done properly, but the rounding is off, for example 22.098 rounds to 22.1, not the listed 22.09. The stamps with design size of 0.76 x 0.86 inches, which converts to 19.304 mm x 21.844 mm, are listed correctly. 

Bibliography and suggested additional reading:

Basic Information:
USPS Souvenir Sheets
The Americana Series Reference Manual - Art Maniker (1998) - please note: this book includes information on many specific varieties of the Americana Series, including, but not limited to, color, plate scratches, misperfs, miscuts, inking, precancel, gum, paper, tagging, inclusion, printer's waste, counterfeit and forgery varieties. It also includes information on pre-cancel varieties and marginal imprints found on the Americana Series stamps. Although there are discrepancies, until a revised version or better book comes out, this is a must for the collector of the Americana Series.

Also:
Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting - Rodney Juell and Stephen Rod (USSS), 2006
A New Era in Booklet Production - George Brett US Specialist (multi-part series on the Goebel press starting in September 1977)

Various articles from the United States Specialist - Primarily from the New Issues Forum


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