Sunday, July 01, 2007

160th anniversary of first US postage stamps

Today marks the 160th anniversary of the first United States postage stamps which are shown here.

According to Wikipedia, "The first stamp issues of the U.S. were offered for sale on July 1, 1847, in New York City, with Boston receiving stamps the following year and other cities thereafter. They consisted of an engraved 5-cent red brown stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin (the first postmaster of the US), and a 10-cent value in black with George Washington. As for all U.S. stamps until 1857, they were imperforate."

"The stamps were an immediate success; about 3,700,000 of the 5¢ and about 865,000 of the 10¢ were sold, and enough of those have survived to ensure a ready supply for collectors, although the demand is such that a very fine 5¢ sells for around US$500 as of 2003, and the 10¢ for around $1,400 in used form. Unused stamps are much rarer, fetching around $6,000 and $28,000 respectively."

To read more on the postal history of the United States, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM