Penny Black

black

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.

red

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Sources

An Post

 

A very Dickens Christmas meal.

Dickens

In the mid 1800’s Lady Maria Clutterbuck published a cook book called “what shall we have for dinner?” An introduction was written by Sir Charles Coldstream.

It was a cook book typical of the Victorian era. The book did not necessarily instructions how to cook a meal it was more a book of menus. like the one below a menu for the winter time and possibly for Christmas.

menu

You will have difficulties in finding more works by Lady Maria Clutterbuck or the writer of the introduction ,Sir Charles Coldstream. They were in fact the pseudonyms of Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine Dickens.

It is unclear when Catherine Dickens cook book was first published but a second edition was published in 1851.

Catherine

Donation

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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