Postage stamp: Brief History and the honored personalities

Vannessa | 05 - 31 - 2023
Images of U.S postage stamps

Before postal stamps were invented, the recipient was usually responsible for paying the postage costs. It was way too expensive; the cost was determined on the basis of the distance and the number of papers it had. This system was not encouraged by the people as some couldn’t afford it.  To tackle this, people wrote messages on the outer cover, and the receiver would read the message but refuse to accept or pay for the post. Eventually, the post will be returned back to the sender. It was an expensive affair.

Sir Rowland Hill rescued the postal service by inventing postage stamps in 1837. He proposed a thought that a person sending the mail will pay for the post, and the cost will be the same no matter how long it travels or how many papers it contains. Initially, the members of the British government were against it, however, the merchants thought it was wise. In 1839 he was allowed to try. Indeed, he succeeded 

Penny Black – The First Stamp 

The first stamp in the world featured the image of Great Britain’s Queen Victoria. In 1840, sold the first one, which people nicknamed “Penny Black”. Given that black ink was used to print the stamp and it cost one penny to buy. 

Who pays for the post before the invention of stamps?
  • A. Sender
  • B. Receiver
  • C. Postman
  • D. All the above

America’s First Postage Stamp

In 1847 the United States government issued its first two postal stamps. One of these was a $5 stamp honoring Benjamin Franklin. The other was a ten-cent stamp featuring George Washington, the first U.S. president.

Honored Personalities Featured on the U.S Postage Stamps

  1. Abraham Lincoln

He was the 16th president of the United States and served from 1861 to 1865. Compared to all other presidents, he appeared on the postal stamp a lot more than any other president. The first postage stamp honoring Abraham Lincoln was issued either on April 14, 1886, or exactly one year and one day after his death in 1865, or a week later.

  1. Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington was the first Afro-American to appear on a postage stamp. It was released on April 7, 1940. He was an educator recognized for his administration of the Tuskegee Institute. Washington sacrificed his life for improving the lives of African Americans. 

He encouraged them to focus on agricultural and industrial skills. His conservatism made him the first African American to appear on the stamp in segregated America. 

  1. Harriet Tubman 

On February 1, 1978, Harriet Tubman became the first African American woman to feature on the U.S. postal stamps, and the first postage stamp depicting Black heritage series. The postage stamp was issued recognizing her effort in helping the enslaved people escape from slavery and the African Americans’ contributions to American history.

  1. Henry David Thoreau 

Henry David Thoreau is an American author, poet, and philosopher. His works reflect the transcendentalism movement.

  1. Marilyn Monroe

On June 1, 1995, the Postal Service honored Marilyn Monroe by issuing 32 cents commemorative stamp.

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