On May 18, 1981, the USPS broke an eight-year-old custom by issuing a coil stamp with its own unique design picturing a surrey from the 1890s. Until then, stamps in convenient coil rolls were always of the same design as definitive stamps that were in circulation at the time. There were to be fifty more coil stamps issued through the next fifteen years, each depicting a different conveyance of transportation, ranging from a 1770s carreta, a Southwestern term for a two-wheeled cart, to a 1933 Stutz Bearcat automobile. Conveyances depicted are as entertaining as a 1900s circus wagon, as somber as a 1860s ambulance, and as utilitarian as a 1920s tractor.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed all the Transportation coil stamps, except for three that were printed by private contractors in the 1990s. Line engraved intaglio printing method was used though a few of the last ones were gravure printed.