A History in Postage Stamps A History in Postage Stamps
A History in Postage Stamps
The arrival of the adhesive postage stamp 175 years ago in May 1840, as part of Britain's wider postal reforms, revolutionized communication and introduced a visual elegance to our post that still endures to this day. Within years, postal authorities around the world were following Britain's example, proudly producing their own stamps. These small rectangular pieces of paper became ubiquitous national symbols, conveying a nation's moods, triumphs and achievements to millions of letter writers. Soon, the study and collecting of stamps, known as 'philately', became hugely popular, as enthusiasts recorded the production techniques, quality and subtle varieties of stamps. Young collectors discovered new countries, currencies and cultures as they added the stamps to their albums, while serious philatelists exchanged increasingly substantial sums of money for scarce examples.Using notable British stamps issued over the past 175 years, this book charts the story of Britain and its stamps, from the industry and innovation of the Victorian era that produced the world famous Penny Black, through the politics and propaganda of two world wars during which stamps played their own role, and into the modern era, when British designers embraced the opportunity to celebrate, commemorate and reflect the country and its people through this unique form of communication.