– THE POSTAGE STAMP –
-> Before the postage stamp, it was difficult to send a letter to another country. The sender paid for the letter to travel in his or her own country. Then the person in the other country paid for the other part of the trip. If a letter crossed several countries, the problem was bigger.
Rowland Hill, a British teacher, had the idea of a postage stamp with gum on the back. The British Post Office made the first stamps in 1840.
They were the Penny Black and the Twopence Blue. A person bought a stamp and put it on a letter. The post office delivered the letter, or took the letter to the person. When the person got the letter, it was prepaid
That is, the sender paid for it earlier.
Postage stamps became popular in Great Britain immediately. Other countries started making their own postage stamps very quickly.
However, there were still problems with international mail. Some countries did not want to accept letters with the stamps of other countries. Finally, in 1874 a German organized the Universal Postal System (the UPS).
Each country in the UPS agreed to accept letters with prepaid postage from the other members. Today the offices of the UPS are only in Switzerland. Almost every country in the world is a member of this organization. It takes care of any international mail problems.
Today post offices in every country sell beautiful stamps. Collecting stamps is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, and every stamp collector knows about the Penny Black and the Twopence Blue.