Fun Facts About Stamps
Every day we learn new things, like it’s said, life is a never-ending quest for gaining knowledge. Below are some really interesting fun facts about stamps, some you probably never knew.
– a stamp collector is also called a Philatelist: the term ‘philately’ was first coined in 1864 by Georges Herpin, a French man who himself was a stamp collector.
– The first postal stamps were not able to stick to envelopes. People had to literally sew the stamps on when no paste or adhesive was available.
– The ‘penny black’ was the first postal stamp ever printed. It had the profile of Queen Victoria against a black background and cost a penny. It’s is over 175 years old now.
– the universal postal union is the second oldest international organization and is responsible for safe delivery of postal ‘snail mail’.
-the United Kingdom was the first country to introduce the use of postal stamps and in honor of this, the universal postal union allows it to issue stamps without having to print the country’s name on it.
– the great writer, William Shakespeare, was the first person to appear on a UK postal stamp who wasn’t from the royal family.
– during the 17th century, candling was used to determine the postal rates of a mail. This was done by holding a candle in front of the letter. If it was transparent, the stamp was less expensive. If less transparent, the stamp became more expensive.
– in 1918, some accidentally upside-down printed stamps were lost. These were very valuable and are referred to as the ‘inverted Jenny’. Only 100 copies have been found till date.
– an Asian country, Bhutan, in 1973 printed stamps that could play native folk songs or their national anthem when it was placed on a record player (how cool).
– in 1993, the Elvis Presley stamp became the most popular US postage stamp to be sold. An estimated 120 million copies were sold.
– In 2013, Belgium printed postal stamps that tasted and smelled like chocolate. Prior to this invention, in the late 19th century, the country trained about 37 cats to help deliver mails to villages only to discontinue the plan because it was totally impossible to successfully make the cats comply.
In other news, as an extra tidbit, a whopping 20 million Americans collect stamps. Also, most avid stamp collectors tend to have in their possession, stamps that date back to a whole century before they were born. And yes, the Apollo 11 crew that landed on the moon in 1969, made an impression of the moon with a stamp die and after their return, it was used to issue stamps. Bet you didn’t know half of what we’ve just discovered. You are very welcome.