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Stamp History - History of Postage Stamps

A historical overview of the world of postage stamps and of stamp collecting.

German Stamp History Page

Mainpage for Stamps

Black Penny

1 Penny Black issued at 5/6/1840

 

Books and catalogs about stamps at amazon.com
 

Overview

Stamp History History of Stamp Collectors The first Issues of Stamps Questions of Readers Mails

Stamp History

The first official central royal mail office was opened in England 1516.
Nearly 300 years later Sir Rowland Hill suggested 1835 that letters until the weight of a half english ounze (14.5 g) should be carried for a uniform fee of 1 Penny.
The receiver had no longer to pay the postage fee, but the sender. The sender had to use stamps:

5/6/1840 the first two stamps were issued: 1 Penny Black and 2 Pence Blue.
At the same time the Mulready covers were selled.

Black Penny

The second country which issued stamps was Brazil 1843. It issued the so called Ox Eyes.
The Swiss Cantones Zurich and Geneve issued stamps in the same year.

This is the valuable issue of Geneve (Doppelgenf). More about valuable Swiss stamps

Some postmasters in the USA issued stamps starting 1845. The first official issue followed 1847.
The famous first stamps of Mauritius were printed 1847.

 

Blaue und orangene Mauritius

These are the famous an valuable blue and orange Mauritius, the first stamps of Mauritius

The first german stamp was issued 11/1/1849 in Bavaria, the black Bavarian Kreuzer.


The Black Bavarian Kreuzer

The World Post Society UPU was founded 1875.

History of Stamp Collectors

Short after the issue of the first stamps the first collectors of stamps were found. First, most people laughed at these collectors. But soon they became more and more. The first collectors collected stamps of the whole world because there were not so much issues at the beginning. These stamps were stored in the most different ways. There were collectors who collected their stamps on a string or affixed their stamps on a wallpaper. This was not a good way collecting stamps. Therefore the first stamp books appeared. The stamps were glued with paste into the books. This was also not a good  treatment for the stamps. The stamps  finally could be handled with more care with the invention of the hinge 1889.

The first association for stamp collectors was founded 1856 in the USA: The "Omnibusclub". There were not only collectors of stamps but also collectors of bugs and so on. The first pure stamp association was the 1866 in the USA founded "Stamp Association".
The first german stamp association was 1869 founded in Heidelberg: "Süddeutsche Philatelistenverein".

"The Monthly Advertiser" was the first stamp magazine. It appeared for the first time 12/15/1862 in Liverpool  

Famous Collectors and their Collections

Dr. John Edward Gray claimed to be the first collector of stamps.

We can find a lot of famous collections at royalties. The english royalty has the most famous collection with very much world rarities especially from Great Britain and its colonies.
The collections of King Faruk of Egypt, of Czar Nikolaus III of Russia, King Carol of Romania were also well known.

The collection of Philipp la Renotière of Ferrary was the most famous private stamp collection.

Ferrary started as a kid to collect stamps. His large property helped him to buy the most valuable stamps. A lot of dealers worked only for him and bought expensive stamps and collections all over the world. Ferrary lived in Paris before World War I. He thought to be a German. Therefore he had to flee to Switzerland when World War I started. France confiscated his collection. Ferrary died 1917.
France auctioned his collection 1921. France got 6.000.000 Goldmarks for the collection. So this unique collection with the most seldom world rarities doesn't exist anymore.

The first Stamp Issues

Country First Day of Issue Stamp
Great Britain 5/6/1840 Head of Queen Victoria, "Black Penny"
Canton Zurich 3/1/1843 Digit on background with net

Zürich Nr. 1

Brazil 7/1/1843 "Ox Eye", Digit

Canton Geneve 9/30/1843 "Doppelgenf", Coat of arms

Canton Basel 7/1/1845 "Basler Täubchen"

Basler Täubchen

USA 7/1/1847

Franklin and Washington

(Issues of postmasters were issued earlier , first issue 1842)

Mauritius 9/21/1847 "Blue and orange Mauritius", Queen Victoria
Bermuda 1848 Local post, Bermuda 1 Penny,
Postmaster P. Hamilton
France 1/1/1849 Head of Ceres
Belgium 7/1/1849 Leopold I.
Bavaria 11/1/1849 "Schwarzer Einser", Digit
Schwarzer Einser
Spain 1/1/1850 Queen Isabella II.
New South Wales 1/10/1850 Sydney and Imigrants
Victoria 1/15/1850 Queen Victoria, sitting
Switzerland 4/4/1850 Coat of arms and posthorn
Austria 6/1/1850 Coat of arms
Saxony 7/1/1850 "Sachsen-Dreier"
British Guayana 7/1/1850 Circle with name of postmaster

Questions of Readers

Who was the first woman on a stamp in the USA? (3/27/98)

A question was asked of me at my small Post Office and I don't have the answer.Maybe you can help. Who was the first women on a stamp in the USA? I found that Queen Victoria was on the first stamp so she must have been the first woman. Guide me if you don't know the answer.
Thank you

E-Mail: AMckeon435@aol.com

Answer of sammler.com

You are right. The first woman on a stamp was Queen Victoria. It was the Black Penny. This stamp was issued by the United Kingdom. 

Should be both $1 AND 5 cent values.  Two references with pictures:
http://www.unicover.com/EA4PA2XA.HTM
http://www.unicover.com/EA4PA2XJ.HTM

Also, there was an 8 cent value Martha Washington U.S. stamp in 1902.
http://thek.users.50megs.com/Philately/Catalog/1902-03.html



John Sproul

The first US stamps with women were:

1893 Columbus set

1 ct "Columbus in sight of land"
5 ct "Columbus bolicting aid of Isabella"
There are a lot of persons on this stamp:
Queen Isabella of Spain and a lot of men
8 ct "Columbus Restored to Favor" with Queen Isabella
$1 "Isabella Pledging Her Jewels" with Queen Isabella
$4 "Isabella and Columbus " with Queen Isabella
Columbus Stamps Women enlarged

Woman enlarged

woman enlarged

 

The first US stamp with only a woman

8 ct, 1902 Martha Washington

 
 

3 ct, 1919 Goddess Victoria
with flags for victorious ending of World War I

Goddess Victoria  

The first stamp with a important woman as a real existing person

3 ct, 1936 Susan B. Anthony who fighted for women rights in the USA

1 1/2 ct, Martha Washington was issued as first not commemorative stamp with a woman 1938

 


Susan B. Anthony and Martha Washington
 

Mails

Philatelic Journey through the History of Bulgaria (09/18/00)

Dear Thomas, 
I recently found your interesting and comprehensive collector's web site. Under your "History" label you are asking for information about the history of other countries, and I would like to inform you about my own site of Bulgarian stamps and history.
I am a Norwegian stamp collector with a parallel interest in history. I make my own stamp albums with historical information about every person/event pictured on the stamps. My current focus is Bulgaria with areas, up to 1946.
I have used scanned stamps from my own collection to make a "Philatelic Journey through the History of Bulgaria". You can also see my Bulgarian stamp album (actually, you can download the complete album, but it is not
translated to English yet.....). The address is: http://home.enitel.no/bhb/stamps.htm
Kind regards, Bjorn H. Bakken Trondheim, Norway

E-Mail: Bjorn.Bakken@energy.sintef.no

This Web Page was Helpful for the "Flying Rhinos" (7/25/98)

I am a writer currently working on an animated series for CBS called "Flying Rhinos".
The episode I am writing is sponsored in part by the U.S. Post Office and has to do with stamp collecting and the history of stamps. Your web page was most helpful and I am only sorry that I didn't find it earlier. I am including it in my script so the animators can find out what some of these stamps look like.

"From the Files of Flying Rhino Jr. High" is an animated show being developed for CBS's Saturday morning line-up. It involves a group of kids who have to battle a former student (Earl) who lives in the depths of the school's boiler room. Earl is a "Phantom" type character who through his huge computer can morph the school into whatever setting he pleases. One week it will be back in time when dinosaurs ruled the earth, or space, or underwater. Our gang has to use their knowledge and wits to transform the school back to its normal state. During their way the kids will learn a lesson about life and an education lesson about whatever the school has been changed into. In my episode "Inverted and Ungluded" one of the kids (Marcus) is a philatelic, much to the ridicule of his friends. "How boring" is the standard reaction. It is not until he reveals that he has found a "Curtiss Jenny Inverted" and that it is worth a lot of money do his friends seem interested in stamps.
Earl (the bad guy) can't stand the fact that Marcus has a better stamp than he does. So, he morphs the school back to a stamp factory in 1918 so he can steal the whole sheet of stamps and have the best collection in the world. Also, because of time travelling rules, if Earl has all the stamps, Marcus would never be able to find his one stamp. Basically, all the rest of the gang gets caught up in the greed of it and have the same motives Earl does. To steal the stamps. It's not until the sheet of stamps is ripped to shreads in a greedy tug-of-war, and they see how sad this makes Marcus, not because of the money but now the world will be deprived of a great stamp to collect, do they realize how greed ruined them. Don't worry, they use their wits to make sure another mistake is made and the Curtiss Jenny is sent out into circulation. It's a bit far fetched, but it is a kid's show.

This episode is sponsored by U.S. Post to show kids that stamp collecting can be fun!

Every episode has to contain actual facts about the educational part of the story. Marcus gives a presentation on the history of stamps. Your concise descriptions helped my write that presentation. I also included the web pages of the stamps so the illustrators can click on and see what they are drawing.

Brent Piaskoski

 

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