stamp collecting

A Bit About About Stamps

What always stays in a corner, but travels the whole world?

It is a stamp!

Stamps may be a commonplace thing now, but that was not always the case. Sending messages was something that was reserved for governments or the very wealthy. That was because the person who received the message must then pay the messenger. The mail would have to be noted at each stop and attention paid to who was handling the letter making it costly endeavor. Pre-paid postage would not even be considered until 1840 in Great Britain. Those first stamps were called One Penny Black. One guess on how much they cost? (You are right! One Penny!) They also were not perforated and needed to be cut out from the single sheet that they were printed upon. This idea of pre-paid postage was so popular that by the 1860’s over 70 countries had adopted their version of it.

As different countries were adopting prepaid stamps, it became apparent that while these systems worked well within the country, mailing a letter to another country could be a bit tricky because you had to purchase their pre-paid stamp as well. In 1874, the Universal Postal Union was formed. This organization made it much easier to mail letters between nations that participated in this program.

Stamps have gone on from making mailing a letter easier to showing off some of the most significant moments in history, capturing beautiful artwork or have brought light to issues that needed more attention. If you are interested in learning more about stamp collecting or want to start your collection, please come to see us at Briggs & Coops. We have a large variety of stamps for you to peruse and would love to share more about what makes stamp collecting so exciting.