The History of Stamps
1840: The first stamp is issued in Great Britain. The Penny Black Stamp has the engraved profile of Queen Victoria’s head, which stayed on the British Stamp for the next 60 years. It was created by a school teacher named Rowland Hill, years before that, who was later knighted for his invention. With the first stamp, the art of collecting and love for it was born as well.
1847: The first postage stamps are released in the U.S. featuring the portraits of George Washington (First President) and Benjamin Franklin (First Postmaster). The one with Franklin was 5 cents, while the other was 10 cents. The stamps at this time were bound together so much you had to cut them with a knife or scissors. A 5 cent stamp would get your letter that was less than 1 ounce, 300 miles across the country, and a 10 cent stamp would get you twice as much. Now a mint version of the Benjamin Franklin Stamp is worth $2,500 and a used George Washington stamp is worth $750.
1850: Congress declared that a postage stamp would be worth 1 cent, so this Benjamin Franklin stamp was created.
1893: The first commemorative stamps were issued at the World Columbian Exposition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. The Post Office later issued a series of 16 stamps depicting Columbus and his career, ranging in value from 1¢ to $5. Many consider these to be the first commemorative stamps issued by any country.
1933: Avid Stamp Collector Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States and he took interest in the stamps being issued. President Roosevelt work closely to design stamps. One of the greatest commemorative stamps he helped develop where the ten stamps representing National Parks.
1974: The “modern day” stamp was born with the first self-adhesive stamp being issued during Christmas.It was not consideredsuccessful at this time though. They weren’t issued again until 1989 and rose in popularity so much so that only few stamps are even offered with the traditional gum. From this time on the price of stamps continued to rise steadily.
2007: The Forever Stamp went on sale for 41 cents. This stamp is good for mailing first class letters anytime in the future, regardless of price changes.
“Collecting, especially of the classifying sort epitomized by- Russell W. Belk, Collecting in a Consumer Society
stamp collecting, offered a means to seem to gain control of the
world and of the past.”
Stamp Collecting History
StampCollector Robert Cousely phrased it right when he said “All stamps tell a story, a part of history.” Stamp Collecting is not only engrained in history, the practice of collecting them is historic in itself. From the moment stamps were born, the hobby of collecting them came to fruition. With each new stamp that’s created, a moment of time is permanently marked in history. When a president is inaugurated, as a person becomes an icon in society, or when a major event changes the course of history, a new stamp is created and later kept in a new stamp collector’s book to cherish or even sell.
“I'm a worldwide collector and I collect stamps which portray historic, geographical or personal stories that interest me. So the collection is limited only by my own curiosity,” says collector Ilya Ronin. Her curiosity of stamps along with tens of millions throughout the years has carried this hobby along and kept it alive for more than 170 years.