Saturday, March 03, 2012

Stamps Authorized on This Day in 1847

The Golden Gazette News reports that on this day in 1847 the U.S.Post Office Department was authorized to issue postage stamps.

According to the article, "Private enterprise, however, beat the government to the punch, with a carrier service in New York City issuing the first-ever adhesive postage stamps to be produced this side of the Atlantic and then requiring those stamps to be used on all mail that it processed. The City Despatch Post, which was founded by London merchant Henry Thomas Windsor (then a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey), had as its agent one Alexander M. Greig—whose name, ironically, is far more remembered than that of Windsor by both stamp enthusiasts and historians."

It goes on to say, "On March 3, 1845, an Act of Congress established consistent postal rates, but it was not till two years later to the day that the production of stamps was authorized—again, by Congress. While most of the earlier stamps used by the United States City Despatch Post were somewhat crude, once stamp production was authorized the Postmaster General contracted for engraved stamps with artwork that is still sought after today by philatelists."

Shown above, the first U.S. postage stamps.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM