Jan 18


Philately is a hobby and it helps a person to get engaged in a meaningful way irrespective of one's country, gender, age. A person can aquire world knowedge by collecting stamps of different countries and create albums in different categories. It can be shared with families, friends and social contacts across the world. The Penny black was the first stamp in the world introduced 150 years ago.

Excerpts from Telegraph

The Penny Black, which emerged 175 years ago, had an influential but limited lifespan

 It has become a stamp collector's holy grail: the little black stamp that made post affordable for a normal Victorian. But the Penny Black, which first went on sale in London 175 years ago today, had a troubled birth.

Before the Penny Black, the world's first adhesive stamp, only the very rich could afford to use the post. Until 1840, letters were charged by the number of sheets written upon and the distanced travelled to send them – and the recipient, rather than the sender, had to pay.

Victorians made their correspondence as efficient as possible: writing both horizontally and vertically on a page, but even two decades before the Penny Black was printed it was clear something needed to be done.

James Chalmers, a bookseller and printer from Dundee, suggested a solution of pre-paid postage stamps in 1822, but it took another 15 years for MP Robert Wallace to imagine an envelope, of a standard size, which would carry the stamp.

Two years later, the Penny Postage Bill was passed in Parliament and treasurer Roland Hill announced a competition to find the designer of envelops and stamps: 2,600 entries were submitted.

• What is a Penny Black stamp?

Although there are reports of some winners being announced, including Henry Cole and Charles Whiting, who were established printers, Hill decided to run with an envelope and stamp designed by artist William Mulready.

Mulready's stamped lettersheet was perhaps a better idea than reality: an elaborate "poetic" design inspired by the country's empire, with a figure of Britannia and an apathetic lion in the middle, it was roundly mocked and inspired so many cariactures it had to be withdrawn.

More successful was the stamp – for a while, at least. Its depiction of Queen Victoria was drawn from a sketch that artist William Wyon made of the Queen when she was 15. Victoria was 21 in 1840, but engraver Henry Corbould still used this reference for the stamp, which was in turn used by Charles and Frederick Heath to make a die for its printing.

Along with the fine border work and stars in the corners, the Penny Black didn't feature the name of the country: Victoria was synonymous with the nation at this point.

Instead, the word "Postage" differentiated it from the revenue stamps that had been used for decades. Both that and the price, One Penny, were printed on the stamp.


Scheduled Air Mails

U.S. Government flown Air Mail

 The first U.S. Air Mail takes off from Washington, D.C., on May 15, 1918.

The first scheduled US airmail service connected Washington, D.C., and New York. This 218-mile route was the first step in establishing a transcontinental route by air. Transcontinental air service was the best opportunity for airmail to provide faster service at lower cost than the existing railroads. Routes like College Park to New York were only slightly faster than the railroad, but were a good laboratory for developing safe and reliable airmail operations.

Throughout the airmail’s planning, the US was preparing to fight World War I and this exposed deep flaws in American airpower including obsolete aircraft and too few pilots, both in quality and quantity. As a result, Post Office and military officials believed airmail could increase the speed of communication while also improving military pilots. By flying the mail, novice pilots would develop their long distance flying skills including aerial navigation.

Revolving Globe

Revolving Globe


Stamps of the world countries in Alphabetical order