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The History of the Stamp 

The first stamp of the world, the  'One-Penny-black' was issued in 1840 in Great-Britain

following a postal reform under Minister Rowland Hill. With the invention of the stamp, the idea that the sender and not the recipient had to pay for the transport, was generally accepted. After that...

...the next stamps were issued in Switzerland in 1843,

  

the so-called "Cantonal stamps", first issued in the swiss canton of Zurich and then in the canton of Geneva (fig. the right half of the "double Geneva").

 

In the same year, in 1843, Brazil issued its very first stamp

the so-called "ox-eyes", three items with values of 30, 60 and 90 Reis, which were printed in three horizontal lines in the same sheet, so that pairs of different values would be formed.

The first stamps of the U.S.A., issued individually in some towns and states,

  

were so-called "postmaster issues"; e.g.. the local issues Millbury and St. Louis.  Some of these stamps are extremely rare and sometimes exist only in one single copy.

... last but not least, the most famous stamp of the world, the 'Mauritius Blue', was issued in 1847 in the British colony Mauritius,

with the erroneous inscription 'Post Office' - instead of 'Post Paid' like on the later issues - they were issued to stamp and decorate invitations for the party of a lady.

In 1848 the first stamps of the Bermuda Islands appeared.

They were issued by the postmaster W.B. Perot for Hamilton; only a very few copies of these stamps exist, usually in damaged condition and cut around.

The first German stamp, the 'Bayern-Einser black' issued in 1849 in Bavaria

was ordered by King Maximilian II of Bavaria. Shortly after that a variation appeared with values of 3 and 6 Kreuzer, whose paper contain silk threads to prevent forgeries.

The first stamp of Belgium, was issued in 1849

with the picture of King Leopold I. and was printed on watermarked paper, also a measure taken to prevent forgeries.

The first stamp of  France, the '20 Centimes Cérès', issued in 1849

was black, like most of the early issues of different countries, all inspired by the 'One Penny Black'.

Copyright MARTINS PHILATELIE 1999