A long time ago in
England, the first postage stamps became compulsory. This happened on the 6th of
May, 1840, by order of W. L. Maberly. The letter that went out to all Post
Masters alerting them to the change even included instructions on mixing the
"Red Stamping Composition" (ink) that was to be used for canceling the
that same year the first adhesive stamp, the Penny Black, was issued in Britain.
This stamp had a picture of Queen Victoria's head on it with the words
"postage" up the top and "one penny" on the bottom. The
stamps also had letters that indicated which sheet of stamps the stamp came
Stamps were first
introduced into the United States in 1847 and from then they began being adopted
by the rest of the world.
Stamps continued to be refined and improved and soon prepaid post cards and
envelopes were available - the first of these were the penny postal cards, which
were introduced around 1873 in the US. As more classes of mail were emerging and
many more mail destinations were appearing, stamps of different values came into
existence and inflation also kept the prices rising.
From this point on
the actual stamps remained more or less the same. New ways of purchasing stamps
began to arise, such as vending machines and now even over the internet. There
has been little significant change to stamps over the last 50 years or so, but
what lies in store for the little stamp in the future?
Collecting | Why Stamps? | Stamp