Timeline of postal history
This is a partial timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates and events relating to postage stamps.
- Cursus publicus, the state-run courier (and transportation) service of the Roman Empire was established by Augustus.
- 1497 - Franz von Taxis established a postal service on behalf of Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire
- 1516 – Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts"
- 1520 - Manuel I creates the public mail service of Portugal, the Correio Público-Public Post Office.
- 1635, 31 July - Charles I made the Royal Mail service available to the public for the first time with postage being paid by the recipient.
- 1639 - The General Court of Massachusetts designates the tavern of Richard Fairbanks in Boston as the official repository of overseas mail, making it the first postal establishment in the 13 colonies.
- 1654 - Oliver Cromwell grants monopoly over service in England to "Office of Postage".
- 1660 - General Post Office established in England by Charles II.
- 1663 - England’s Imperial Post Office is established in the Colony of Barbados.
- 1671 - King Louis XIV grants monopoly over service in Paris to the family Pagot and Rouillé.
- 1675 - Beat Fischer von Reichenbach granted permission to operate a private postal service in Bern, Switzerland.
- 1680 - The first penny post system, known as the London Penny Post, for local delivery was introduced by William Dockwra in London.
- 1690 – Leon II Pajot builds a privately operated postal center on 9 rue des Déchargeurs in Paris - International Horse Carriages carry Mail from France to other countries. The building, the Hotel de Villeroy still exists, it is used today for private apartments and for the exposition center Cremerie de Paris, the courtyard can be visited by the public.
- 1738 the parisian postal family Pajot & Rouille had become one of the wealthiest families in France.
The Royal French minister of finance cardinal de Fleury estimates that the postal wealth should belong to the Kings of France and nationalizes the privately run postal enterprise. The postal service also leaves the historic Pajot & Rouille buildings (formerly Hotel de Villeroy) located on rue des Dechargeurs / rue des Bourdonnais.
- 1775 - The Continental Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin to be the first United States Postmaster General.
- 1792 20 February - The US Postal Service Act establishes the United States Post Office Department.
- 1825 - The US establishes a dead letter office.
- 1828 - Hellenic postal service established.
- 1830 – First mail train in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
- 1831 - Independent Irish and Scottish Post Offices united under the Postmaster General of the United Kingdom, 31 years after the Act of Union
- 1839 5 December - Uniform Fourpenny Post starts throughout the UK.
- 1840 10 January - Uniform Penny Post starts throughout the United Kingdom.
- 1840 1 May - United Kingdom issues the Penny Black and Two Pence Blue, the world's first postage stamps.
- 1840 6 May - The Penny Black and Two Pence Blue, world's first postage stamps, become valid for the pre-payment of postage.
- 1842 1 February City Despatch Post New York local post.
- 1843 1 March - Zürich issue their first stamps: Zurich 4 and Zurich 6.
- 1843 1 August - Bull's Eyes, first stamps of Brazil
- 1843 30 September - Geneva issue their first stamps: Double Geneva.
- 1845 - Creation of the New York Postmaster's Provisional
- 1845 - The US star routes begin operation.
- 1847 1 July The United States issues its first stamps.
- 1847 21 September Mauritius issues its first stamps, the Mauritius "Post Office" stamps, or the Red Penny and Blue Penny.
- 1848 - first use of Perot Provisionals in Bermuda
- 1849 1 January - first stamps of France
- 1849 1 July - first stamps of Belgium, known as the "Epaulettes" type
- 1849 1 November - first stamps of Bavaria
- 1850 1 January New South Wales issues its first stamps.
- 1850 1 January Spain issues its first stamps.
- 1850 3 January Victoria issues its first stamps.
- 1850 7 April Federal Switzerland issues its first stamps.
- 1850 1 June Austria and Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia issue their first stamps.
- 1850 29 June Saxony issues its first stamps.
- 1850 1 July British Guiana issues its first stamps.
- 1850 15 November Prussia issues its first stamps.
- 1851 23 April - The Province of Canada issues its first stamp, the Three-Penny Beaver, designed by Sandford Fleming.
- 1851 - Kingdom of Hawaii issues Hawaiian Missionaries, first stamps.
- 1852 - New Brunswick issues its first stamps.
- 1852 - The Netherlands issues its first stamps.
- 1852 - Scinde Dawks in India
- 1852 - first stamps of Barbados
- 1852 - US issues its first stamped envelopes.
- 1853 - first stamps of Portugal
- 1853 1 November - first stamps of Tasmania
- 1854 - first stamps of India
- 1854 - first stamps of Western Australia
- 1855 - first stamps of South Australia
- 1855 - US initiates registered mail service.
- 1855 - US makes prepayment of postage compulsory.
- 1855 - first stamps of New Zealand
- 1856 1 August - first stamps of Mexico
- 1856 21 August - first stamps of Corrientes
- 1856 - first stamps of Danish West Indies
- 1856 - British Guiana 1c magenta issued
- 1857 - 1 April - Ceylon(Sri Lanka) issues its first stamp.
- 1857 - Newfoundland issues its first stamps.
- 1858 29 April - Buenos Aires issues its first stamps.
- 1858 1 May - Argentine Confederation issues its first stamps.
- 1858 21 July - Moldavia issues its first stamps, just a year before the state's dissolution.
- 1858 28 October - Cordoba issues its first stamps.
- 1858 - London is divided into postal districts, precursor of British Postcode System.
- 1859 - Bahamas issues its first stamps.
- 1860 1 November - first stamps of Queensland
- 1860 1 December - first stamps of Malta
- 1860 - Jamaica issues its first stamps.
- 1860 - The Pony Express operates in the western United States for a short time.
- 1860 - A stamp is issued for British Columbia and Vancouver Island.
- 1861 - American Civil War begins, postmasters in South make provisional issues.
- 1861 - first official stamps of Confederate States of America
- 1861 1 October - first stamps of Greece
- 1862 11 January - first stamps of Argentine Republic
- 1862 - first stamps of Antigua
- 1863 - Bolivia creates a private contract for mail but rescinds it six weeks later.
- 1863 - First stamps issued by the Ottoman Empire.
- 1864 - United States establishes railroad post offices.
- 1865 1 November - British Columbia issues first stamps.
- 1865 - Bermuda has its first regular stamp issue.
- 1865 - Vancouver Island issues only stamps solely for the island.
- 1866 - first stamps of Serbia
- 1866 - British Honduras issues its first stamps.
- 1866 - Lombardy-Venetia annexed by Italy, including postal services
- 1866 - first stamps of Egypt
- 1867 1 July - The Province of Canada is joined by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, creating the Dominion of Canada.
- 1867 - first stamps of Bolivia
- 1867 - first stamps of Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire
- 1868 - first stamps of Persia
- 1868 - first stamps of Azores
- 1870 - Angola issues its first stamps.
- 1871 - Afghanistan issues its first stamps.
- 1871 20 April - Japan issues its first stamps.
- 1871 20 July - British Columbia joins Canada, which takes over postal services.
- 1873 1 July - Prince Edward Island joins Canada, which takes over postal services.
- 1873 - Iceland issues its first stamps.
- 1874 9 October - General Postal Union (later Universal Postal Union) is formed.
- 1878 - General Postal Union becomes the Universal Postal Union.
- 1879 1 June - Bulgaria issues its first stamps a year after its independence.
- 1882 - stamps of Straits Settlements overprinted at Bangkok
- 1883 - first stamps of Siam (Thailand)
- 1885 - United States initiates special delivery service.
- 1886 - first stamps of British Bechuanaland
- 1886 - first stamps of Congo Free State (Belgian Congo)
- 1888 - first stamps of Bechuanaland Protectorate
- 1890 - first stamps of the Republic of the United States of Brazil
- 1890 - first stamps of British East Africa
- 1891 - first stamps of British Central Africa
- 1892 January 2 - first stamps of British South Africa Company, Rhodesia
- 1892 - first stamps of Anjouan
- 1892 - first stamps of Angra
- 1892 - first stamps of Benin
- 1893 - Hawaiian monarchy overthrown, first stamps of republic
- 1895 - stamps of Dahomey supersede those of Benin
- 1894 - first stamps of French Somali Coast (today Djibouti)
- 1896 - United States experiments with rural free delivery, is made permanent in 1902.
- 1897 - Germany issues first stamps for its colony of Kamerun.
- 1898 - First stamps of Cuba under American military occupation
- 1898 - Puerto Rico stamps issued under US administration
- 1899 - US stamps overprinted for use in Guam
- 1899 - first stamps of the Philippines (overprinted US issues)
- 1899 - US stamps supersede those of Hawaii
- 1900 - first stamps of Kiautchou, German colony in China
- 1903 - first stamps of Aitutaki
- 1903 - first stamps of Austrian post offices in Crete
- 1904 - first stamps of Panama Canal Zone
- 1906 - first stamps of Brunei, overprints on Labuan
- 1908 - first stamps of the Belgian Congo under Belgian administration
- 1911 - January 1 - first stamps of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
- 1911 - United States creates a postal savings system.
- 1912 - last stamps of Anjouan, superseded by Madagascar
- 1913 - first stamps of Australia, superseding those of the various former colonies
- 1913 5 May - first stamps of Albania
- 1913 - United States initiates parcel post service, using special stamps.
- 1915 - 15 August - British forces overprint Iranian stamps in Bushire, use until 16 October.
- 1915 - British and French occupation forces overprint stamps for Cameroon.
- 1916 - United States postal inspectors solve the last known stagecoach robbery in the US.
- 1917- British armed forces in Palestine issue the famous EEF stamps. December 1917
- 1918 - United States issues its first airmail stamps; a sheet of the Inverted Jenny is discovered among them.
- 1918 - first stamps of the Italian occupation of Trieste and Trentino
- 1919 - first stamps of Armenia and Azerbaijan
- 1919 - first stamps of Batum
- 1920 - plebiscite stamps for Allenstein
- 1920 - largest private US postage company, Pitney Bowes formed.
- 1920 - first stamps of French Upper Volta
- 1920 June - first stamps of La Aguera
- 1921 - East Africa and Uganda Protectorates issues stamps.
- 1921 - France issues first stamps for its mandate of Cameroon.
- 1922 13 July - Barbuda overprints stamps of Leeward Islands.
- 1922 - Karelia, briefly independent, issues stamps
- 1922 - first stamps of British Kenya and Uganda
- 1922 - first stamps of Ascension Island
- 1922 - last stamps of La Aguera
- 1922 - first stamps of Irish Free State
- 1923 - first stamps of Jordan (as a British mandate)
- 1923 - first stamps of Transcaucasian SFSR, superseding those of Armenia
- 1923 - first stamps of Iraq
- 1923 - first stamps of Kuwait
- 1924 - first stamps of French Algeria
- 1925 - first stamps of Alaouites
- 1927- First new stamps for the civil administration in Palestine.
- 1928 - first stamps of Spanish Andorra
- 1931 16 June - first stamps of French Andorra
- 1933 10 August - first stamps of Bahrain, issued by Indian postal administration
- 1933 1 December - first stamps of Basutoland
- 1935 May - common issue of stamps for Silver Jubilee of King George V
- 1935 15 November - first stamps of Commonwealth of the Philippines
- 1935 - first stamps of Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika
- 1935 - United States initiates Trans-Pacific airmail service.
- 1937 1 April - first stamps of Aden
- 1937 1 April - first stamps of Burma, overprints on India
- 1937 12 May - common issue of stamps for coronation of King George VI
- 1938 14 April - stamps issued for Alexandretta, last on 10 November
- 1938 - Austrian stamps are phased out after the Anschluss.
- 1940 - Pitcairn Islands issue their first stamps.
- 1941 - United States creates highway post offices.
- 1942 - United States uses V-mail to handle armed forces' mail.
- 1945 May - provisional stamps issued for Austria
- 1946 - first stamps of independent Jordan
- 1947 - India gains independence from Britain
- 1948 -Israel issues her first stamps-The Doar Ivri set. 16 May 1948 [The new country still has no name]
- 1948 -Israel issues her first Israel stamps with the word ISRAEL on the stamps. 26 September 1948
- 1948 - British postal administration takes over in Bahrain
- 1948 - Pakistan issues its first stamps.
- 1949 - Newfoundland joins Canada and issues its last stamps.
- 1949 18 July - Ryukyu Islands issues its first stamps.
- 1951 - Cambodia issues its first stamps.
- 1951 - United Nations issues its first stamps.
- 1955 - United States initiates certified mail service.
- 1957 - United States establishes Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to choose stamp designs
- 1958 23 April - members of West Indies Federation make a joint stamp issue.
- 1959 - UK Postcode scheme introduced.
- 1959 - The Republic of Upper Volta issues its first stamps.
- 1959 - The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempt the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.
- 1960 July - Katanga secedes from Congo, issues stamps until 1961.
- 1960 1 October - UK trust territory of the Cameroons issues stamps, in use into 1961.
- 1961 1 October - Independent Cameroon issues its first stamps.
- 1962 April - Bhutan issues its first stamps.
- 1962 1 July - Burundi issues its first stamps.
- 1963 - United States introduces the ZIP Code.
- 1963 1 February - British Antarctic Territory issues its first stamps.
- 1963 12 December - Kenya issues its first stamps.
- 1964 - First stamps isseud by independent Republic of Malta.
- 1964 30 March - Abu Dhabi issues its first stamps.
- 1964 20 June - Ajman issues its first stamps.
- 1966 30 September - first stamps of Botswana
- 1966 2 December - first stamps of independent Barbados
- 1966 - United States ends its postal savings system.
- 1967 21 August - first stamps of Afars and Issas
- 1967 4 September - first stamps of Anguilla
- 1968 17 January - first stamps of British Indian Ocean Territory
- 1968 19 November - first regular stamps of Barbuda
- 1968 - United States initiates priority mail as a type of first-class mail.
- 1970 - United States passes Postal Reorganization Act, privatizing postal service.
- 1970 - United States initiates experimental express mail service, makes it permanent in 1977.
- 1971 - Privatized United States Postal Service begins operation.
- 1971 1 April - Canadian six-character postal codes introduced.
- 1971 29 July - Bangladesh issues its first stamps.
- 1973 1 June - Belize issues its first stamps.
- 1974 - United States ends its use of highway post offices.
- 1975 11 November - first stamp of independent Angola
- 1975 8 December - first stamps of renamed Benin
- 1976 1 January - first stamps of Tuvalu, formerly the Ellice Islands.
- 1976 1 January - first stamps of the Gilbert Islands (changed to Kiribati in 1979)
- 1977 30 June - United States ends use of railroad post offices.
- 1978 - United States begins to copyright postage stamps and other philatelic items.
- 1979 12 July - first stamps of Kiribati, formerly the Gilbert Islands.
- 1979 - Canal Zone transferred to Panama along with postal service.
- 1982 - United States introduces E-COM, an electronic message service.
- 1983 - United States introduces ZIP + 4.
- 1984 21 November - first stamps of Burkina Faso
- 1985 - Jackie Strange, first female Deputy US Postmaster General
- 1985 - United States terminates E-COM service.
- 1986 1 January - first stamps of Aruba
- 1992 20 March - Belarus issues its first stamps.
- 1992 26 March - Azerbaijan resumes issuing stamps.
- 1992 - Kazakhstan issues its first stamps.
- 1994 28 January - Canada issues the world's first 2 part customizable greetings stamps.
- 2000, 28 December - Canada issues the world's first 2 part personalized photo stamps, called "Picture Postage".
- 2007, 12 April - USPS issues a non-denominated stamp called the forever stamp
- 2011, 13 July - newly independent South Sudan issues its first postage stamps.
- 2015, 1 February -Megan Brennan appointed first female US Postmaster General
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