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World first stamp Penny Black 1840 Queen Victoria Authentic Stamp Plate GI

1840 World first stamp Penny Black Queen Victoria 1864 Authentic

Penny Black Queen Victoria issued in 1840 Authentic, original old stamp


The world's first adhesive postage stamp

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was first issued in the United Kingdom on 1 May 1840 but was not valid for use until 6 May. The stamp features a profile of Queen Victoria.

In 1837, British postal rates were high, complex and anomalous. To simplify matters, Sir Rowland Hill proposed an adhesive stamp to indicate pre-payment of postage. At the time it was normal for the recipient to pay postage on delivery, charged by the sheet and on distance travelled. By contrast, the Penny Black allowed letters of up to 1⁄2 ounce (14 grams) to be delivered at a flat rate of one penny, regardless of distance.


Penny Black Queen Victoria

On 13 February 1837, Sir Rowland Hill proposed to a government enquiry both the idea of a pre-paid stamp and a pre-paid envelope, a separate sheet folded to form an enclosure for carrying letters.[3] Hill was given a two-year contract to run the new system, and together with Henry Cole he announced a competition to design the stamps. Out of some 2,600 entries, none was considered suitable, however, so a rough design endorsed by Hill was chosen instead, featuring an easily recognisable profile of Queen Victoria. Hill believed this would be difficult to forge.

Although the stamps were not officially issued for sale until 6 May 1840, some offices such as those in Bath sold the stamps unofficially before that date. There are covers postmarked 2 May, and a single example is known on cover dated 1 May 1840.[11] All London post offices received official supplies of the new stamps but other offices throughout the United Kingdom did not, continuing to accept payments for postage in cash for a period.

The Penny Black lasted less than a year. A red cancellation was difficult to see on the black design, and the red ink was easy to remove; both made it possible to re-use cancelled stamps. In February 1841, the treasury switched to the Penny Red and began using black ink for cancellations instead, which was more effective and difficult to remove. However, people still re-used stamps by combining the uncancelled parts of two stamps to form an unused whole, so in 1864 as a further safeguard the top corner stars on the Penny Red were replaced by the lower corner check letters in reverse order.




The Jacob Perkins' press, that printed the Penny Black/Red and the 2d Blue, in the British Library Philatelic Collections.




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World first stamp Penny Black 1840 Queen Victoria Authentic Stamp Plate GI

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