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At Icestamps we sell postage stamps mainly from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland but in fact, we sell from all over the world.

Postage Stamps History

The first ever postage stamps in the world were introduced in May 1840, the Penny Black. This may essentially be what you call a glimpse of postage stamps history. You may be curious — how did people send and receive mail before this time period, and what made them think of using postage stamps instead?

The Time before the Use of the Envelope and the Postage Stamp

Since the 1840s, postage stamps have assisted in the delivery of letters and mail. Before the existence of postage stamps, ink and hand-stamps (thus the word — stamp) which were made from cork or wood were used. The ink and hand-stamps were used to frank the mail and verify the payment of postage. Regardless of how primitive or elaborate the different systems of sending messages in the early days were, they were sent without the presence of a postage stamp.

When the postal service first operated, envelopes and stamps did not exist yet. Truth is, people do not like to use envelopes because they were deemed as an extra sheet of paper that actually makes the overall cost of sending mail more expensive. If you are going to send a letter, you only have to fold the paper and seal it shut. Then, the person who will receive your letter will be the one to pay for the delivery fees. Because the fees back then were extremely high, a lot of people tend to decline accepting letters. Some people even thought of writing secret codes to cheat the postal services. On the outside of the letter, they would write secret marks that shows the message and all the recipient had to do was read the secret message, decline to accept the letter, and so they do not have to pay anything for it. Because of this, postal services have resorted to a system wherein postage has to be paid first, and this time, the sender would be the one to pay for all postage fees — thus the start of our postage stamps history.

Posted by Olafur