The History of Stamps – All About Stamps in 2022

Postage stamps are very important if you want to send mail throughout the US. They have quite a long history. Before these stamps, letters were mailed with postmarks with ink or hand-stamped. These Postmarks were first called “Bishop marks” and they were introduced in 1961 by Henry Bishop. Moreover, they were first used at the London General Post Office

The other common question which many people often ask is, what is the name of the first postage stamp in the world? The Penny Black was the first postage stamp in the world. Stamps were introduced after the 1840s and before this, sending a letter was quite expensive. One has to pay a charge for the distance covered and for each sheet of paper.

The profile of Queen Victoria’s head was engraved on the Penny Black, and it stayed on all British stamps for the next 60 years. Continue reading for more in-depth detail about the history of stamps

History of Stamps

As mentioned earlier, stamps have quite a long history. The first stamp in the world was issued in England. The first stamp was issued in 1840 by a schoolmaster named Sir Rowland Hill. Moreover, he also introduced the first uniform postage rates that have been primarily based on weight instead of size.

After this development, other countries have started to work on the stamps. In the United States, the first stamp was authorized on March 3, 1846, and it was first issued on July 1, 1847, in New York City (NYC). Furthermore, the first stamp was sold at two cents.

History of Food Stamps

The idea for the first Food Stamp Program (FSP) was presented by many people. However, the most known people include Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program’s first administrator, Milo Perkins.

History of Food Stamps

On May 16, 1939, Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York became the first recipient. On the other hand, the first merchant to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo. Lastly, Nick Salzano was the first merchant caught breaking the rules in October 1939.

After the food stamp success, President Lyndon Johnson requested to enforce these programs on a permanent basis in 1964. Later that year, as part of his “War on Poverty,” he signed such a program into law (FNS, 2012d).

Price of Stamps History

The cost of stamps has also fluctuated over time. The price of stamps now is not what it was at the beginning. In this section, you will get to know the stamp prices from the beginning. Let’s start.

Year  Price
1863 3 Cents
1869 3 Cents
1883 2 Cents
1889 2 Cents
1918 3 Cents
1919 2 Cents
1932 3 Cents
1958 4 Cents
1963 5 Cents
1968 6 Cents
1971 8 Cents
1974 10 Cents
1975 13 Cents
1978 15 Cents
March 22, 1981 18 Cents
November 1, 1981 20 Cents
1985 22 Cents
1988 25 Cents
1991 29 Cents
1995 32 Cents
1999 33 Cents
2001 34 Cents
2002 37 Cents
2006 39 Cents
2007 41 Cents
2008 42 Cents
2009 44 Cents
2012 45 Cents
2013 46 Cents
2014 49 Cents
2016 47 Cents
2017 49 Cents
2018 50 Cents
2019 55 Cents
2020 55 Cents
2021 58 Cents

Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History

The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History is also known as the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum. It is a non-profit organization that is committed to the appreciation of range via the medium of postage stamps and postal records.

This museum was founded in 1960, and now it has more than 2 million philatelic items, which range from postage stamps to postal records, to artifacts of communications through the mail. Its main mission is to interact with and educate diversity, history, and geography through its philatelic exhibits, aid middle, library, and packages for youngsters.

Read Our Helpful Guide: How Many Stamps Do I Need?

Penny Black: First Modern Postage Stamp

Penny Black was the first modern postage stamp. It was introduced on May 6, 1840, with Great Britain’s Penny Post. Penny Black had the profile of Queen Victoria’s head, and her profile remained on all British stamps for the next 60 years.

Penny Black First Modern Postage Stamp

On the other hand, the London Penny Post was established in 1680 by William Dockwra and Robert Murray. The main purpose of this mail system was to deliver small parcels and letters throughout London. They charge a one penny fee for delivery and the parcel was prepaid by using a hand-stamped franking stamp.

Middle Ages of Stamps

As mentioned earlier, stamps have quite a long history. Humans have been using these stamps for a long time. Some popular Middle Ages stamps include Castle RUBBER STAMP, Jousting Knight Coin RUBBER STAMP, Procreate Logo Stamp Middle Ages, Simonetta Vespucci 29, Antique Greek Statues Stamps, and many more. For more Middle Ages stamps, click here.

Who came up with the idea of Posting stamps?

When there are no stamps, letters were postmarked with hand stamps or with ink. So there’s really a need to introduce something that would help in mailing letters or parcels. The first stamp was introduced on May 6, 1840. The idea of the first stamp was given by Sir Rowland Hill who himself designed the stamp which cost one penny.

Besides, Sir Rowland Hill, James Chalmers, and Lovrenc Kosir are also known to be the inventor of the postage stamp. Lovrenc Kosir suggested the introduction of postmarks five years before the introduction of the first stamps throughout the world. On the other hand, James Chalmers also helps in the invention of the adhesive postal stamp.

History of Stamps – FAQs

When did we start using stamps?
Stamps were first introduced in 1840 in England so people started to use stamps in that year in the UK. However, in the United States, they were introduced after some years i.e., 1847. After stamps’ invention, they became popular very quickly.
What did they use before stamps?
When there were no stamps, there was no proper way of stamping. People stamp a parcel or letter hand-inked or stamped. People had been facing difficulties in mailing so postmarks were invented in 1661 by Henry Bishop. These postmarks were also called Bishop’s Mark and they were used by the London General Post Office.
Why was the stamp invented?
People were having difficulty in mailing parcels or letters, so the invention of stamps was needed. James Chalmers came up with the idea for the postage stamp, which was the first time individuals could pre-pay for mailing a letter. Stamps were introduced which became very popular. By the 1860s, there were more than 70 countries had started to use Postage stamps.
What is the rarest stamp?
The world’s rarest stamp is the British Guiana 1c Magenta which was introduced in 1856. The price of this stamp was $9.48 Million and it is considered the most valuable or rare stamp in the world. Moreover, other rare stamps include Treskilling Yellow (1855) which sold for $2.6 Million, the Sicilian Error of Color (1859) which sold for $2.6 Million, and Baden 9 Kreuzer Error (1851) sold at €1.31 Million.
What country has the most beautiful stamps?
All countries’ stamps are beautiful in their own way. However, the most beautiful stamps in the world are from Switzerland and Norway. Switzerland’s stamps are unique and have an attractive design which makes them better than other countries’ stamps.


Our Verdict

To conclude here, Postage stamps have a long history. The first Postage stamp was introduced on May 6, 1840, and the idea of the first stamp was given by Sir Rowland Hill.  He himself designed the stamp which cost one penny.

Moreover, the name of the first Postage stamp in the world was Penny Black. Besides Rowland Hill, Lovrenc Kosir and James Chalmers are also known to be the inventor of the postage stamp.

The first stamp in the US was authorized in 1846 and was first issued in 1847. The US released its first circular stamp a hologram of the planet in the year 2000. Furthermore, Tonga and Sierra Leone have introduced tamps in the shapes of fruit.

Lastly, Stamps are often printed in booklets, sheets, or rolls on paper. However, some Postage stamps are made of materials other than paper, such as embossed foil, but they are used less frequently.

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