Penny Black Is Reissued To Mark The 175th Anniversary

To mark the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black, which was the world’s first postage stamp when it was issued in 1840, replica Penny Black stamps have been reissued for a limited period.

The world of communication was transformed forever on 1st May 1840 when the world’s first adhesive postage stamp designed by Sir Rowland Hill went on sale and began to be officially used in the public postage system five days later.

Indeed the launch of the Penny Black, also known as the 1d black, featuring the profile of 15-year-old Queen Victoria, represented the birth of the modern British postal system and has been compared to the emergence of the internet in the modern day world.

Up until this point, prices to send a letter were worked out by distance and the number of sheets per letter. In today’s terms, the Penny Black stamp would cost £3.07.

In the years leading up to when the Penny Black stamp was issued, the topic of postal reform was successfully addressed by Rowland Hill. He advocated the introduction of lower postal charges which eventually led to the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee in November 1837.

In effect, when The Uniform Postage Act received Royal Assent less than two years later on 17th August 1839, the final hurdle had been overcome which led to Rowland Hill being tasked with making the concept of prepayment using postal stationery and adhesive postage stamps become a reality. Several months later that’s exactly what happened when the Penny Black stamp was issued on 1st May 1840.

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