"Just Stampin' Around"

"Youth Stamp Collecting" 

History of Postage Stamps 

Did people always use stamps? No.

Before stamps people who received letters had to pay for their delivery. People wanted to prepay postage to speed up their mail. Stamps were invented to stick on letters, to show that postage was paid.

        In France, a certain Monsieur de Velayer had the idea of creating a small post office and in 1653, he offered his customers small pieces of paper with the mention “receipt for the payment of transport.” These were to be put into letterboxes that were emptied at more or less regular hours and then sent to their destinations. In 1814 the Sardinian postal service took up M.de Velayer’s idea and relaunched the “stamped paper” principle, but again it was used only for a short time. It was not until 1840, that the first postage stamp was born when a Great Britain post office initiated the sale of the first stamps for prepayment of postage. Called the Penny Black stamp and the two Penny Blue stamp with the portrait of Queen Victoria. This stamp let people send a letter to any part of the British Isles. Between May 1840 and January 1841, 72 million Penny Blacks were issued.

The first U.S. stamps were both issued on July 1, 1847. One honored George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General. By the end of the 1850’s, 80 countries were issuing stamps. Early collectors gathered in open-air markets in London, Paris and Luxenbourg to trade and buy stamps from all over the world. In 1893 the first women on a stamp in the U.S. was Queen Isabella of Spain. She made Christopher Columbus first voyage to America possible.

In 1893 the U.S. post office issued its first series of commemorative stamps. Commemorative stamps honor special events, historic anniversaries, or important people. In 1918, the first U.S. postal airmail stamp was used for a mail flight between New York and Washington, D.C. The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington. This was part of the famous Americans series in 1940. He was also honored in 1956 by himself. The United States Postal Services has commemorated individual achievements of African Americans and their contributions to U.S. history on more than 100 postage stamps. On February 1, 1978, Harriet Tubman was the first African American woman to honor. This was the first honored under the Black Heritage Series of commemorative postage stamps.

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Penny Black Stamp

Admiral David Farragut

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Attending Stamp Shows

can be fun

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Ben Franklin and George Washington

                       Pocahontas                                               

Queen Isabella of Spain                                         

Booker T. Washington

Martha Washington

Harriet Tubman

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Teacher's Section

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