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The History of Postage Stamps

Stamps are legal marks or impressions used for the advance payment of postal charges or tax. It’s an authorized seal or mark showing payment of tax, ownership, or approval. The postage stamp has been a part of society for many decades. We often take it for granted, not recalling that there was a time before postage stamps. Back when we couldn’t run to the nearest kiosk or post office to buy postage. The history of stamps can be traced back to the sixteenth century.

Early Before Adhesive Postage Stamps

English trader William Dockwra is accredited with aiding in the formation of the mailing system we know today. William Dockwra and his colleague Robert Murray started the London Penny Post in 1680. The organization could be used to distribute small parcels and letters throughout the city of London. When posted, a hand postage stamp was used to verify payment of postage charges.

The First Adhesive Postage Stamps in the UK

Social reformer, English teacher, and inventor Sir Rowland Hill fought for the restructuring of the United Kingdom’s postal system. His method demanded the sender to pay the postage fee rather than the recipient. The first adhesive postage stamp was called the Penny black and included the profile of Queen Victoria based on a sketch prepared by Henry Corbould. It was released on 1st May 1840 but was not publicly used until 6th of May.

Accompanied by the first stamp, Sir Hill also introduced the first consistent postage rates based on weight rather than size. This made the mailing system more realistic.

New Stamps and a New System

Hill was called upon to provide proof for his system before the Commission for Post Office Enquiry in 1837. In the course of his meeting, he read from a letter he wrote to the Chancellor. His assertions presented the world with the first explanation of a modern-day adhesive stamp. He specified that using a small piece of paper but large enough to bear the stamp, and overlaid at the back with a glutinous wash” could start paid postage.

To make sure that fees were paid for all parcels, postmarks were used. This helped spot used stamps so that they couldn’t be recycled.

The Adhesive Postage Stamp Idea Becomes Popular

Other nations witnessed the triumph of postage stamps in the United Kingdom and chose to come up with their systems. The Swiss Canton of Zurich issues the six and four rappen in March 1843. The latter would carry mail anywhere in the canton, and the former could be used to post letters in Zurich.

New postage stamps emerged after Brazil made its Bull’s Eye postage stamp in 1843. The country used a similar printer that made the United Kingdom’s Penny black but included an abstract design. They decided not to produce an image of Emperor Pedro II since the postage stamp would disfigure his portrait.

The U.S. started circulating postmarks in 1845. But, it took some years before the first authorized U.S. postmarks were released. These comprised ten and five cent postage stamps with images of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

Modern-Day Postage Stamps

Postmarks are used globally to send letters to just about anyplace. Some countries have even tested with the design, presenting new themes and images. The United States created a circular stamp in the year 2000 that displayed a hologram of Earth. Sierra Leone and Tonga released stamps shaped like fruit. Modern-day collectors have a huge and diverse collection of postage stamps to select from thanks to the wild popularity and diversity of adhesive stamps.

Stamping Vs. Franking

In this modern era, using technology to send texts and emails is the norm. Writing and posting a letter is as a result not done frequently; however, in business posting letters is a very important way of communicating with your clients and keeping them appraised. Mailshots, business updates, and invoices can all be sent through letters, and they’re vital in keeping clients in the loop and happy.

With the 38% postage stamp charges increase in 2012 and the risk of added increases, many businesses are turning to franking machines as a means to keep their posting costs low. A franking machine is a tool that basically prints money in the form of postmarks. The ink imprint created by the equipment will be used on outgoing mail items and the printed info links to a Royal Mail account. There is no need of buying postage stamps, and many businesses in the United Kingdom are now using a franking machine to mail their parcels and letters.

A Brief History of Franking Machines

Engle Frankmussler invented the franking machine in 1884. He intended to accelerate the arduous postage processes and counter stamp theft.

A franking machine or Postage Meter computes postage cost and imprints this info on outgoing mail. Registered to the Royal Mail, appliances are updated with current tariffs, and payment is made depending on how much mail is prepaid in bulk or sent. In-built scales to make sure that correct postage is continuously applied weigh parcels and letters.

Any business that posts letters can profit from a franking machine. There are cheaper models for low-volume needs, which provide convenience and a lot of savings. There are also complex high-volume ranges, which present a wealth of certain features. With so much choice, there will surely be a franking machine that provides the right features for the right price for your needs.

Benefits of Using a Franking Machine

  1. Postal Discounts from the Royal Mail

In the past couple of years, the Royal Mail has considerably increased the discounts on franked mail owing to the cost-effectiveness of processing stamped mail and issuing stamps.

To persuade more businesses to use franking machines, the Royal Mail provides cut rates on postal charges for clients who frank their mail.

  1. Displaying a professional image

Posting franked mail presents a professional image to your clients and business associates.

Your franked stamp can be made-to-order for your company and can include your promotional text and business logo or other business messages.

  1. Over Stamping

We all end up doing this at some point. You’ve something that needs to be mailed, but you’re uncertain of the weight or don't have the accurate value of stamps, so you overpay. It’s a waste of money, but at least the job is done.

With a franking machine, specifically one with an intact scale, this is never an issue. Get accurate stamp price, dial it into the device and frank it.

  1. Under Stamping

If a business unintentionally under stamps mail, it inconveniences its clients and also costs them money. With a franking machine, it’s easy to get accurate stamp price each time and avoid the embarrassment of under Stamping.

  1. Convenience

Stamps tend to run out at the most inconvenient time and trips to the post office to get more postage stamps aren’t only time consuming but also inconvenient. Franking machines can be easily topped up, and it only takes a minute. Even when the post office is closed, you’ll never run out of postage.

If you’re reading this post and thinking that your business could profit from a franking machine and a reduction on royal mail charges, comparing Franking Machines can help you save even more time, hassle, and money in making your purchase. Authorized Companies lease, rent or sell you franking machines, but how do you ensure that you aren’t spending any extra money needlessly? How do you make sure that you’re getting the best quote on the market? (For more in depth informational guides on Franking Machines please visit Company Compare)