sunshine recorder

Sunshine Recorders, Heliographs,
Actinometers, and Pyranometers
(and signaling heliographs)


Below are checklists of Sunshine recorders and solar-related instruments on postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.). Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes on the items featured are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

Sections/divisions of the table below
Sunshine recorders / heliographs
Actinometers
Pyranometers
Signaling heliographs (not solar-monitoring heliographs)1

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueType of Sunshine Measurement
Sunshine recorders / heliographs
Argentina769 (Mi856)1965Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Argentina769 fdc1Stamp and (cyan and black printed) cachet on FDC
Argentina769 fdc2Stamp and (blue and black printed) cachet on FDC
Austria1857 (Mi2358)2001Sunshine recorder / heliograph
British Antarctic Territory426f (Mi?)One of MS8 (426 (a-h)), also detail2010(probably) G. Simpson examining sunshine recorder / heliograph atop a Stevenson screen
British Antarctic Territory432b (Mi?)From MS4 (432 (a-d))2011Sunshine recorder / heliograph atop a Stevenson screen; probably G. Simpson recording temperature values
Chile1672b (Mi2610)One of strip of 4 (unknown1-4 + label), or six of 1672_ms24 (6x (1672a-d) + 6 labels) (Mi2607-2610)1965Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Chile1672b+d fdcOne of two stamps on FDC
Chile1672 brochureBrochure front, also inside and back
CroatiaNone(Multi-color printed) cachet on postal card2012Sunshine recorder / heliograph
French Southern and Antarctic TerritoriesNone(Annotated) cachet on cover1986Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Guinea-Bissau890 (Mi1120)1990Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Jersey (Great Britain)1297 (Mi1328)2008Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Jersey (Great Britain)1297-1301 fdcOne of five stamps on FDC, also back
Jersey (Great Britain)1299a (BL?)In (lower-right) margin of MS10 (10x 1299)
Malagasy RepublicC116 (Mi696)1973Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Malagasy RepublicC116 fdcStamp and (orange and blue and black printed) cachet on FDC
Namibia691 (Mi699)1991Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Namibia693 (Mi701)
Namibia690-693 fdc1Two of four stamps and (pictorial) cancel on FDC (Namibia PT cachet), also insert
Namibia690-693 fdc2Two of four stamps and (pictorial) cancel on FDC (Namibia silk cachet)
Nigeria311 essay1 (Mi294 essay1)Essay1973Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Nigeria311 essay2 (Mi294 essay2)Essay (different)
Nigeria311-312 essay1Essay (12k)
Nigeria311-312 essay2Essay (18k)
Nigeria312 essay (Mi295 essay)Essay
Nigeria707 (Mi708)2000Sunshine hour recorder / heliograph
RomaniaNone(Multi-color printed) cachet on stamped envelope1984Sunshine recorder / heliograph
RussiaNone(Red printed) cachet on cover2008Sunshine recorder / heliograph
South Africa612 (Mi626)1983Sunshine recorder / heliograph
South Africa612 maxi
South Africa610-613 fdc1One of four stamps on FDC
South Africa610-613 fdc2One of four stamps on FDC (different)
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus337 (Mi344)1992Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus336-338 fdcOne of three stamps and (black printed) cachet on FDC
Uganda1702 (Mi2346)2001Sunshine recorder / heliograph
Actinometers
Angola861 (Mi916)1993Actinometer
Germany (East)982 (Mi1343)
i982
One of strip of 3 (984a (982-984)) (Mi1343-1345)
One of imperforate strip of 3 (i984a)
1968Actinometer
Germany (East)984a fdcStamp on FDC
United States1915 sc (1484 sc)(Reader's Digest) souvenir card (with 1915 fdc), also back1981"To the casual eye a [Crookes] radiometer looks like an unfrosted light bulb with four tiny weather vanes mounted inside it. When sunlight pours in the window and strikes the vanes, they whirl around briskly"; (a Crookes radiometer, also known as a light mill, is a primitive form of actinometer)
Pyranometers
Australian Antarctic TerritoryL105 (Mi113)1997Albedometer (paired up-and-down-looking pyranometers)
Australian Antarctic TerritoryL105 maxiMaxicard
South Africa612 (Mi628)1983Two pyranometers
South Africa612 maxi
South Africa610-613 fdc1One of four stamps on FDC
South Africa610-613 fdc2One of four stamps on FDC (different)
Uganda1198 (Mi1330)1994Two pyranometers
United States1431 fdc (Mi? fdc)(Fleetwood) cachet on cover1971Three pyranometers (in foreground)
Signaling heliographs (not solar-monitoring heliographs)1
DjiboutiC234a (BL142A)
iC234a (BL142B)
In (upper-left) margin of SS1 (C234)
In (upper-left) margin of imperforate SS1 (iC234)
1987Signaling "héliographe"
DjiboutiC234a fdcSS1 on FDC
DahomeyJ35 (Mi_T46)One of pair (J35a (J34-J35)) (Mi_T45-T46)
One of imperforate block of 4 (iJ35a (iJ34-iJ35))
1967Signaling "héliographe"
DahomeyJ35a proofSigned proof
Mali76 (Mi107)1965Lescurre (signaling) "héliographe"
Mali76 proofSigned proof

1The use of the term "heliograph" is not limited to sunshine recorders only. A heliograph can also be an instrument that uses the Sun as a signaling device. The devices on these stamps are designed to directly reflect the Sun's rays via a mirror or mirrors, unlike some other devices incorrectly labeled "heliograph" that are merely mechanical signaling or semaphore telegraphs. Those latter devices diffusely reflect the Sun so as to be seen, but they do not reflect the Sun directly towards the viewer and are therefore not true heliographs in spite of the mis-applied name.


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