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A little history of stamp collecting

A Little History Of Stamp Collecting

Stamp collecting, one of the most popular hobbies in the world, is an activity that involves the gathering and organizing of postage stamps and other related items such as covers, that is, packages or envelopes with stamps pasted on them.
The first stamp ever to be issued was of a portrait of a young Queen Victoria in 1840 Britain, called “One Penny Black”. By the 1860s, the activity of collecting stamps was already beginning to become a popular pursuit, particularly for children.
Further on into the 1800’s, it was named “timbromania”, that is, “stamp madness”. The activity gained a huge following in Britain and eventually all over Europe and its colonies, so much so that businesses with the sole purpose of providing services for stamp collectors began to come about. These companies often sold stamps as well as supplies related to stamp collecting, such as stamp albums, in which the collected postage stamps are neatly stored.
In the United States, it was the rise in value of the postage stamps issued in the 1920s that provided much publicity and heightened interest on stamp collecting. By the 1930s numerous stamp collectors began to collect postage stamp issues of that decade by the hundreds, in the hope that, similar to the stamps of the previous decade, these too would become of great value in the future. But perhaps because of the high availability of such stamps, the “rarity” factor was lost and to this day, stamps from the 30’s are still available at very affordable rates.
The hobby of stamp collecting has also evolved into a much serious and organized activity regarding postage stamps, called philately, which is the study of postage stamps.
Rare postage stamps are perhaps one of the easiest to store and the most transferable investments, and are hence an ideal substitute to collecting artwork or precious jewelry.
With the advent of numerous technological advances such as email and SMS that are gradually making postal service rather obsolete, the creation and use of postage stamps have naturally also decreased dramatically, making it seem as if the hobby of stamp collecting might soon become obsolete as well. This may not be entirely true, however. To begin with, most stamp collectors are often interested in rare, old postage stamps, as opposed to new ones, so the decrease in the usage of postage stamps won’t affect the hobby too much. Perhaps some things never change, and stamp collecting, it seems, is, for now at least, here to stay.

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