Who did not collect in childhood stamps?! Remember how irresistibly you were attracted by these flying heralds of distant lands, how you tried to make out the intricate drawings on them and tiny inscriptions, sometimes hidden by rough strokes of stamps. But where did the stamps come from and what kind of story? What is science philately and what it is for. You will learn a lot of interesting things about brands from this article.

A Brief History of Posts and Stamps

A Brief History of Posts and Stamps

In distant Australian waters, between the mainland and New Guinea, among the coral reefs and the pitfalls of the Torres Strait, lies a small Bubi Island. It housed the world's smallest ocean post office. A tall mast pointed to the post office. At the base of the mast lay a barrel with the inscription "Post office". This barrel contained paper, pens and ink, a notebook, and a tin box filled with letters. Sailors and travelers, going past this island from the Atlantic Ocean, left their correspondence here to their homeland. Ships sailing past Bubi Island in the opposite direction picked up the letters that had accumulated here.

About mail and stamps

The barrel held supplies of fresh water, sea biscuits and corned beef. The captain of every ship that passed by the island felt it his duty to replenish these stores, which might prove so precious to the shipwrecked.

The need to receive news from distant places originates in antiquity. Already at the time Cyrus and Darius Hystaspes (558 - 485 years BC) the mail of ancient Persia reached great perfection.

All about stamps: history, collecting, philately

In 1653, the Paris City Post introduced small receipts attached to letters as a sign of payment. They were small pieces of paper, like parcels. Postmarks and fees existed in London, Sardinia, Austria and China. Prior to 1840, postal fees depended on distance and were very high.

May 6, 1840 in Britain, the first stamp "black penny“. For a long time considered its inventor London Postmaster General Rowland Hill, who proposed many reforms and, in particular, charging 1 pence for every 7 grams of shipment, regardless of distance.

When did the first brand appear in history
photo from wikipedia.org

However, many attribute the invention of stamps to book dealer and printer James Chalmers. The fact is that both of them appeared in England almost simultaneously: in 1837, Hill published his famous pamphlet "Reform of the postal service, its importance and feasibility", where he substantiated the comprehensive advantage of a new cheap postage rate with payment in advance by sticking a stamp, and from 1834 James Chalmers came up with projects for sticking stamps of a small size and a strictly defined type.

The experience of England was quickly adopted by the postal departments of other countries. In 1842 stamps appeared in New York, and a year later in Brazil. Then joined France, Belgium. The first brand appeared in Russia 10 декабря 1857 годаby artist Franz Kepler.

The first brand in Russia

In the early days of philately, stamps were collected for more than just mosaic paintings. In 1898, an English collector compiled a geographical map from stamps. USA, 3 meters long and about two and a half wide. This card took 2 marks English colonies, mostly rare and expensive.

Of course, such collecting was still very far from philately - the science of collecting and researching postage signs. However, very soon, the artistic performance and entertaining content of postage stamps began to attract more and more people to collecting. The affordable price and small size of the stamp, the easy way to get it, the official nature of this small document - all this made the stamp one of the most interesting collectibles.

Interesting brands of Belarus
a series of stamps: sights of Belarus

As early as 1862, the first manual on stamp collecting was published in Britain. In 1891, a catalog of stamps published all over the world appeared in France. Already by the time of World War I, over 800 magazines devoted to philately were published all over the world. Currently books, magazines and newspapers dedicated to philately are published even in the most remote corners of the globe - in Jamaica, Iceland, Madagascar.

All about stamps: history, collecting, philately

Philately - what kind of science?

Philately serves politics and religion, art and science, fulfilling in the hands of the ruling class the role it needs. After all, stamps penetrate everywhere with a letter: into palaces, ordinary houses, huts on distant islands, and even behind prison bars.

Studying philately - the science of stamps, which has gained recognition in all cultural countries, you will come across history, economics and politics, art, life and technology of all countries and peoples, since there is no such topic that would not have been touched on stamps somewhere . Collecting and researching stamps, you will receive a lot of new information in all branches of knowledge, expand your horizons, develop your taste, accuracy, love for order and systematicity.

Interesting brands of Belarus
Series with famous people of Belarus 1994

What visual auxiliary material do stamps provide for studying history and current events, for example, the first half of the 20th century. In 1921, a series of stamps of the RSFSR was issued, among which the stamp attracted the attention of philatelists of all countries - an allegory with an image of a worker trampling on a dragon he had killed.

Civil War era stamps
from markimira.ru

In 1923, stamps of the USSR were issued depicting the famous sculptures of Shadr (the head of a worker, peasant and Red Army soldier). This series of stamps, denominations from 1 kopeck. up to 5 rubles, known among philatelists under the name "gold" (since the price of stamps was indicated in solid gold currency).

Civil War era stamps
from markimira.ru

Already by 1930, there were over 50 thousand different brands all over the world, in 1970 about 70 thousand, and today there are already more than 1 million. It is hard to imagine that anyone managed to collect a complete collection of them. Therefore, a new method of collecting has recently become widespread - selection of stamps from different countries or one country on certain topics.

The subjects for such collecting are infinitely diverse: history, politics, economics, science, art. In stamps, these are the main milestones of thematic collecting. For example, there is an excellent selection of stamps on the topic "Transport Development".

A Brief History of Posts and Stamps
series of stamps transport development

On several pages of the album, all types of water, land and air transport are consistently depicted. Here are simple shuttles, sailing boats, galleys, steamboats and ocean-going vessels, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and steam locomotives, airplanes and airships - on the stamps of dozens of different countries. Such thematic selections of stamps are an excellent visual aid to the study of various sciences. This method is especially valuable for young collectors. Unnoticed and without difficulty, wanting to know what is depicted on the stamp and what it is dedicated to, collectors acquire knowledge from the life of peoples and the nature of the whole world. After all, each brand says something, brings with it some images from the depths of centuries, then from the present, telling about some events, people, things.

В Belarus with the collapse of the USSR, many beautiful and interesting stamps were also issued on various topics, including Attraction.

Interesting brands of Belarus

Fascination with stamps and collecting them

Here are stamps from Chile and Egypt, Canada and Australia - stamps from the most remote corners of the planet. They were there, those little stamped pictures, they brought with them the charm of distant lands, a bit of their alluring exoticism. These brightly colored paper squares and rectangles, bordered by an elegant frame of teeth, kept tiny and clear images of picturesque and formidable nature, outlandish flora and fauna of unknown overseas countries. Through these colorful windows it seemed to you that the vast expanses of water of the seas and oceans gleamed in the rays of the sun, quicksands of deserts and green massifs of dense forests spread before your searching inquisitive gaze, noisy capitals of the world arose in your imagination.

Flipping through the album - the subject of pride and desire of friends, you mentally made a trip around the world. Small pictures flying hundreds and thousands of kilometers, postage stamps brought with them to the pages of the album either the smell of coffee from the plantations of Madagascar, or the humid fumes of the tropical forests of Brazil; the silence of the ice fields. The tundra of the north gave way to the hot breath of the tropics. And fantasy carried away on its wings either to the distant shores of East Africa, where the stormy roar of the Indian Ocean drowns out the groans of slaves on the coffee plantations of Mozambique, or to the prairies of the “Wild West” of North America, where innumerable herds of bison roamed in the wild.

All about stamps: history, collecting, philately

From the stamps of the Congo and Liberia, Abyssinia and Nyassa, people and animals of distant Africa watched. You imagined the formidable clatter of a rhinoceros tearing through the thicket from the hunters pursuing it, and the trumpet sound of a wild elephant sensing danger; you heard the roar of lions coming out to prey and the barking of jackals in the predawn stillness of the desert. You have admired the smooth running of a giraffe, whose neck is like the swaying mast of a ship in a storm; swift-footed antelopes competed in running, herds of wild buffaloes headed for the morning watering hole.

Postage stamps are not only messengers of distant countries, not only signs of postage. Postage stamps are silent witnesses of wars and revolutions, documents of disappeared states, historical monuments.

Postage stamps are the work of the best artists and outstanding masters of engraving, typography and lithography. As monuments of material culture, they can be one of the means for studying the era, like books, paintings and sculpture.

Briefly about the stamps of Spain

Spain is considered the birthplace of many very valuable, highly artistic postage stamps, revealing one page after another from the history and culture of the great Spanish people. famous spanish artist and cartoonist Francisco Goya y Lucentis two colorful series of stamps are dedicated. The first shows a portrait of the painter in 11 different colors and his famous painting "Naked Maha". The second series of airmail stamps features four of the best engravings from his famous etchings, in which the great painter castigated the vices of the aristocracy, the Inquisition and the clergy.

Briefly about the stamps of Spain

To the 300th anniversary of the publication of the world famous "The Adventures of the Cunning Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha" was issued one of the most remarkable series of postage stamps in Spain. On the themes of Cervantes' work, ten large format stamps, beautifully executed in a lithographic way, with the main scenes from the novel, have been issued. In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the death of the brilliant writer, stamps were issued with his portrait and with the image of a monument to him.

In honor of the glorious navigator Christopher Columbus, two series of stamps were issued. They depict caravels on their way to the New World, scenes of Columbus saying goodbye to his homeland in Palos on August 2, 1492, and landing on October 12, 1492 on the island of Guanahani in America.

Stamps in honor of the famous navigator Christopher Columbus

It is known that until the end of his days Columbus did not suspect the grandeur of his discovery, he was sure that he had found the long-awaited sea route to India.

During the heroic struggle of the Spanish people against the rebels and invaders, the Spanish Republic issued a beautifully designed postage stamp in memory of the famous sculptor Gregorio Fernandez.

postage stamp in memory of the famous sculptor Gregorio Fernandez

The stamps also featured the image of the greatest Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. Of interest are the stamps issued by municipalities in Spain in order to raise funds for the needs of the Popular Front. These stamps depict people's militia fighters, the emblem of the People's Front and other anti-fascist drawings. Stamps were pasted on letters in addition to postage.

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