Prior to 1840, postal rates were very costly and involved calculations that depended on how many sheets were used and how far the letters were carried. Since the 1840s, postage stamps have aided in the delivery of mail. The development of the stamp was part of an effort to improve the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland’s postal system.
The Penny Black
The Penny Black, the world’s first postage stamp, was issued on May 1, 1840. It was initially introduced in the United Kingdom. It is a stamp featuring the image of Queen Victoria.
Sir Rowland Hill
The current postal service can be attributed to Sir Rowland Hill, who has been hailed as the father of the postal service. Sir Rowland Hill’s proposal to modernise the British postal system in 1837 included the concept of an adhesive stamp to show pre-payment of postage.
Due to the evolution of electronic mail and other technological breakthroughs, there has been a decrease in the amount of mail, and the use of postage stamps, around the world during the 21st century.
Did You Know?
- The portrait of Queen Victoria, which was used on the Penny Black stamp, was based on a drawing of her at the age of 15.
- Penny Black had a total print run of 286,700 sheets, including 68,808,000 stamps. The British Postal Museum owns the only known full sheets.
- The 1840-1853 stamps were all imperforate. The Penny Black is imperforate and needs to be cut from the sheet using scissors or a knife.
- Dr. John Edward Gray is widely considered as the world’s first stamp collector because he bought a block of Penny Blacks on the first day they were available for sale (1 May 1840) with the intention of conserving them.
- Due to the fact that the United Kingdom was the first country to issue a postage stamp, the country’s name is not required in the design to this day.