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Postal stamps from the beginning

Postal Stamps From the Beginning

When you send a piece of mail, you have to attach postal stamps to show that you have paid the appropriate amount of postage for the size and weight of the envelope or package. The first such stamps to be used in the world were in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were introduced to the postal system on May 1, 1840. Prior to this introduction it was the recipient of the mail that had to pay the postage when they received it. This made it easier to send mail when it was paid for by the sender and was a way of making sure that all mail was delivered.

The first stamp used for postage was called the Penny Black and the second one that went into service was the Two Pence Blue. Both of these stamps displayed a picture of Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch at the time. These first stamps were not perforated and had to be cut apart. They had to be affixed to the mail with glue because they did not contain the same type of backing as the stamps of today do. Since the UK was the only country in the world to use stamps, there was no need to have the name of the country printed on the stamps. This practice remains in force today with the United Kingdom being the only country in the world that does not have a country name on its postage stamps.

Quite after this introduction, other countries of the world began instituting the same type of practice for their postal services. The Canton of Zurich was the next stamp to be introduced. Unlike the British system of allowing the Penny Black to be sufficient postage for mail anywhere within the United Kingdom, in Zurich the cost of mail depended on the distance it had to travel. It was cheaper to send mail of the same size to a nearer community than one farther away, even though both locations were in the same country.

The first official postage stamps were introduced in the United States in 1847. Prior to this date, there were some postmasters who did have their own postage stamps to show that the postage had already been paid. The first US stamps were in denominations of five and ten cents and depicted portraits of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

Throughout the century and a half since the first stamp was used, there have been many different stamp designs. Not all are square or rectangular in shape and many are collectors?items because of mistakes that have been made in the printing process.  The first self-adhesive stamps in the world were those of Sierra Leone and the Congo. These stamps were in the shape of fruit. The stamp of Bhutan contains a disc that plays the national anthem of the country.

Depending on the type of mail you send, there are different types of stamps for you to use. Sending mail by air requires an airmail stamp and if you want to get the mail to its destination within a few days, express mail stamps will help you do this. These are more expensive than the stamps for everyday use.

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