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Stamp Collecting

History of the Postage Stamp

Stamp Collecting Album

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The first postage stamp was made by Britain in 1840. It was called the One Penny Black and cost 1 penny just like the name. The picture was of Queen Victoria. The Penny Black, and many of the original stamps, did not come with perforations, so people would have to use scissors to cut each stamp from a page of stamps.

The idea of the postage stamp was invented by James Chalmers and it was the first time that people could pre-pay for mailing a letter. The concept of the postage stamp took off and became very popular. By the 1860's, the number of countries that used postage stamps as a way to prepay for postage was well over 70.

In 1874 the Universal Postal Union was formed. This allowed countries that were members to send mail more easily between each other as long as they abided by certain terms and rules. It allowed the senders to use just one form of stamp rather than having to affix the stamp of the country they were sending the letter.

Stamp collecting was somewhat popular from the start, but collecting stamps became a very popular hobby in the 1920's when the value of stamps started to soar. This continued into the 1930's, but, with the value of stamps starting to fall, the growth of stamp collecting slowed. However, stamp collecting is still a very popular hobby today. The variety of stamps and the history, culture, and story they tell still draws people from all walks of life to take up their tongs, get a stamp album, and start collecting.

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