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A brief history of the RAS


[RAS Postage Stamp]
The RAS Postage Stamp
(Stanley Gibbons no. 823)
The 150th anniversary of the founding of the RAS in 1970 was commemorated with the stamp shown here. The three people depicted on the stamp were influential in founding the society: Sir William Herschel, at left, the first President, holding his famous drawing of Uranus and two satellites; Francis Baily, of Baily's Beads fame; and John Herschel, William's son. In the background is William Herschel's 40-ft-long telescope, assembled at his home in Slough, as depicted in the RAS logo.

The RAS commemorative was the highest-value member of a set of five marking various anniversaries in 1970, ''1/9'' indicating the face value of one shilling and ninepence. -- Ian Ridpath