History of The UK Postage Stamp

4 September 2019

Reform often comes from someone who is just a victim of a problem and not an expert. One such example is that of fixing postage stamp prices by Rowland Hill back in 1837. What are the odds of such a revolutionary change to be suggested by a former schoolmaster who did it on his free-will in contrast to being assigned this task?So, the problem with the postage stamp system of the time was that its pricing was inconsistent in different parts of the country which was disgruntling for the recipients of the post as they often ended up paying for the postage.

In May 1840, the system was reformed with the introduction of “Penny Black,”a prepaid stamp each of which costed 1d (one penny) to cover up to 4 oz. of a local post by weight.The move was perceived to be detrimental to the system as it would make postage cheaper but Hill countered by making the point that cheaper prices will help increase the scale as it will encourage masses to use it more, and also more often. Small amounts from a large number of people ultimately made postage popular and the new system was also adopted by other countries soon after. The original design of penny black featured a bust portrait of HM Queen Victoria and it was also the world’s first self-adhesive postage stamp.

Another reform in the postal system is something that was initially green in colour and was later painted red. Any guesses? It was the pillar box. Yes, they did not exist until it was invented by postal worker Anthony Trollope in 1853. Learn more about the history of postage stamps by checking out this infographic from Postage Supermarket. You would also get to learn how the price of postage stamps changed with time and about other reforms in the postal system

For further information: https://www.postagesupermarket.com/blog/index.php/2019/05/20/the-history-of-uk-postage-stamp-prices/