Penny Black

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It may sound like a 19th century Gothic novel or the name of an Irish folk singer but neither apply, Penny Black is in fact the name of the first adhesive postage stamp.

It was first issued in Great Britain om May 1 ,1840 but was not valid for use until 6 May   it showed the head of the monarch of the time, Queen Victoria. Printed in sheets of 240, each had to be cut from the sheet by hand until the Irishman, Henry Archer, came up with an early perforating machine.

Even though  the stamps were not officially issued for sale until 6 May 1840, a few offices such as those in Bath sold the stamps unofficially before that date. There are covers postmarked 2 May, and a single example is known on cover dated 1 May 1840. All London post offices received official supplies of the new stamps but other offices throughout the United Kingdom did not, continuing to accept payments for postage in cash for a period.

Posted in Dublin on May 8, 1840, the Fitzpatrick-Thomas letter is the first clear use of the Penny Black on an Irish letter.

The Penny Black lasted less than a year. A red cancellation was hard to see on the black design and the red ink was easy to remove; both made it possible to re-use cancelled stamps.

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That time when babies weren’t delivered by the stork but by the Postman.

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Once-upon-a-time, it was legal to mail a baby in the United States. It happen more than once and by all accounts, the mailed tots arrived no worse for wear. Yes, “baby mail” was a real thing.

On January 1, 1913, the then Cabinet-level U.S. Post Office Department—now the U.S. Postal Service—first started delivering packages. Americans instantly fell in love with the new service and were soon mailing each other all sorts of items, like parasols, pitchforks and, yes, babies.

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Yes, there were some parents who attempted — and succeeded — in sending their real, live children across the country by way of the Parcel Post. Most surprisinly? All of the children made it, unharmed.

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Just a few weeks after Parcel Post began, an Ohio couple named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle “mailed” their 8-month-old son James to his grandmother, who lived just a few miles away in Batavia. According to Lynch, Baby James was just shy of the 11-pound weight limit for packages sent via Parcel Post, and his “delivery” cost his parents only 15 cents in postage (although they did insure him for $50). The quirky story soon made newspapers, and for the next several years, similar stories would occasionally surface as other parents followed suit.
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The longest trip taken by a “mailed” child took place in 1915 when a six-year-old girl traveled from her mother’s home in Pensacola, Florida, to her father’s home in Christiansburg, Virginia. According to Pope, the nearly 50-pound little girl made the 721-mile trip on a mail train for just 15 cents in parcel post stamps.

the Postal Service in general, and especially its letter carriers had become “a touchstone with family and friends far away from each other, a bearer of important news and goods. In some ways, Americans trusted their postmen with their lives.”  Certainly, mailing your baby took a lot of​ plain old trust.

The Postal Service in general, and especially its letter carriers had become “a touchstone with family and friends far away from each other, a bearer of important news and goods. In some ways, Americans trusted their postmen with their lives.”  Certainly, mailing your baby took a lot of​ plain old trust.

The Post Office Department officially put a stop to “baby mail” in 1915, after postal regulations barring the mailing of human beings enacted the year before were finally enforced.

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It is just too tempting for me not to end with this song, so many people must have thought it once they received their parcels.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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