Collecting Stamps

Know History of Stamps


* The Term Philately was coined by Georges Herpin of Paris. Herpin create the word as a suitable replacement for the hobby’s previous pseudo-scientific name, the derogatory timbromanie, which means ‘stamp madness’. Herpin is said to have first used the new word in a French Stamp collecting publication, Collectionneur de Timbre-Poste, issued November 3, 1864.

* Philately comes from the Greek words ‘philo’ (love) and ‘ateleia’ (exempt from tax or payment). This refers to a letter bearing a stamp to indicate that postage has been paid, and therefore exempt from further payment.

* America’s first public postal service was established on November 5, 1639, at the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Bostonian Richard Faribanks became head of the service, and was therefore the first American Postmaster.

* In the year 549 A.D. letters were carried by means of a kite during the siege of Chinese city.

* Camels have been used to carry mail all over Northern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Western and Southern Australia, Soviet Central Asia and also in the American States of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

* The longest recorded distance covered by foot-post is found in Asia. Messengers took 189 days to deliver mail between the cities of Lhasa, Tibet and Peking, China. It took that long to walk the 1,988 miles between the two cities.

* On November 1st, 1838, the New South Wales Post Office issued prepaid envelopes valid for use within the Sydney area. These were embossed with the official seal of the General Post Office, although they were not postage stamps as we know them, they certainly were the pioneers.

* On March 3, 1845, an Act was passed establishing uniform postage rates in the United States. Prior to this time, rates were high and based, not on weight, but on the number of sheets in a letter. Any letter sent to a destination of 300 miles or less would cost 5¢ per half ounce. Any letter sent to a distance over 300 miles would cost 10¢ per half ounce. Letters for local delivery were charged 2¢.

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Nagaraju Tadakaluri
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