His face may never adorn a postage stamp, but Norfolk Southern employee Dan Garner plays a featured role in a new U.S. Postal Service video honoring the men and women who helped bring America to industrial prominence.
Garner, a welding instructor, works at NS' Enola Locomotive Shop. A postal service video crew traveled to the shop in late July to shoot footage of Garner as he worked next to an SD70ACe locomotive against a backdrop of sparks from a grinder and mig welder. The video was developed to generate interest in the postal service's new Forever stamp series, Made in America: Building a Nation, with modern-day workers portraying their early 20th-century counterparts.
Along with a railroad track worker, the 12-stamp series includes an airplane maker, a millinery apprentice, a linotype operator in a publishing house, a coal miner, and a powerhouse mechanic. Several of the stamps depict construction of the Empire State Building, featuring a derrick man, a man on a hoisting ball, a welder, a man guiding a beam, and riveters. Eleven of the images were derived from photographs taken by Lewis Hine, who chronicled early 1900s industry. The coal miner stamp is from a Kansas Historical Society photograph.
Patrick Taylor, director/producer of multimedia communications and national events for the USPS, said the video commemorates American labor while demonstrating the continued importance of industry in the 21st century. "The idea suggests that the hard work depicted in these photos still happens today," he added. "Railroad workers played a major role building the nation by connecting cities."
Taylor asked NS to represent the rail industry after being mesmerized by the railroad's new television commercial, "Norfolk Southern, What's Your Function?" "I'm a fan of the energy captured in that spot," he said. Other companies featured in the video are Southern New Jersey Steel, Bollman Hat Company, and Schott NYC.
The video featuring Garner can be seen on USPSTV's You Tube page. The video was shown August 8 at the U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington during a "First Day of Issue" ceremony for the stamps.
In addition to producing quality work maintaining and repairing NS locomotives, the Enola shop is a leader in safety. In 2012, the shop's 250 employees became the first NS work group to achieve 2 million consecutive employee hours of injury-free service. As of Aug. 9, 2013, the shop's employees had increased the streak to 2.6 million hours, representing more than five years of injury-free service, said Ernie McClellan, shop manager.