History of Postage Stamp by Mary Bellis Thought Co.
The first issued postage stamp began with Great Britain’s Penny Post. On May 6, 1840, the British Penny Black stamp was released. The Penny Black engraved the profile of Queen Victoria’s head, who remained on all British stamps for the next 60 years.
Rowland Hill Invents Adhesive Postage Stamps
A schoolmaster from England, Sir Rowland Hill invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1837, an act for which he was knighted. Through his efforts, the first stamp in the world was issued in England in 1840. Roland Hill also created the first uniform postage rates that were based on weight rather than size. Hill’s stamps made the prepayment of mail postage possible and practical.
In addition to the most common rectangular shape, stamps have been printed in geometric (circular, triangular and pentagonal) and irregular shapes. The United States issued its first circular stamp in 2000 as a hologram of the earth. Sierra Leone and Tonga have issued stamps in the shapes of fruit.
Interesting facts about stamps
- The first postal stamps were not able to stick to envelopes. People had to literally sew the stamps on when no paste or adhesive was available.
- the United Kingdom was the first country to introduce the use of postal stamps and in honor of this, the universal postal union allows it to issue stamps without having to print the country’s name on it.
- in 1918, some accidentally upside-down printed stamps were lost. These were very valuable and are referred to as the ‘inverted Jenny’. Only 100 copies have been found till date.
- in 1993, the Elvis Presley stamp became the most popular US postage stamp to be sold. An estimated 120 million copies were sold.
- In 2013, Belgium printed postal stamps that tasted and smelled like chocolate.
- an Asian country, Bhutan, in 1973 printed stamps that could play native folk songs or their national anthem when it was placed on a record player.
- Bellis, Mary. “The History of Postage Stamps.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/history-of-stamps-1992419.
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