October is National Stamp Collecting Month
To celebrate, let’s take a look back on the humble beginnings of stamps.
According to the United States Postal Service, Congress authorized United States pre-paid postage stamps on March 3, 1847. Soon after, the first general issue postage stamps went on sale in New York City in July of that year. The 5-cent stamp depicted Benjamin Franklin, and a 10-cent picturing George Washington.
Postage rate was determined by the number of sheets (because envelopes were rarely used,) and the distance it had to travel. Postage could either be paid in advance by the writer, collected from the addressee, or paid partially in advance and partial upon delivery.
Some Stamp Fun Facts:
According to letterhub.com, today, over 20 million American collect stamps.
In 1993, the Elvis Presley stamp became the most popular US postage stamp to be sold. An estimated 120 million copies were sold.
The universal postal union is the second oldest international organization and is responsible for safe delivery of postal ‘snail mail’.
The first time stamps were used to commemorate a public figure was in 1893. The first commemorative stamp was part of the 400th-anniversary celebration of Christopher Columbus.
Charlie Chaplin was an avid stamp collector, and so were Freddie Mercury, Jacque Costeau, Ayn Rand, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Currently, Maria Sharapova has let the public in on her passion for stamp collection. Patrick Dempsey shares her interest, as well as Nicolas Sarkozy, Warren Buffet, and Queen Elizabeth.
Are you an avid collector yourself? Think you might have something valuable? Contact us.