Birth of stamp collectors

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With the birth of stamps came the birth of stamp collectors or philatelists as they have become known. Shortly after adhesive postage stamps were introduced by Great Britain in 1840, people began collecting them. In 1841, a women even placed an advertisement in the London Times in which she requested help in collecting stamps so that she could paper a bedroom wall.

The two terms philately and philatelist, which refer to the collection and study of postage stamps, were derived from the Greek word phileo, meaning “I love” and ateleia, meaning “free of charges”, in the sense that postage stamps replaced a cash postal charge. As people began to collect these interesting pieces of paper, no one realized how valuable stamps could become.

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