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Timeline of Events in Global Postal History



Fifteenth century

1497 - Franz von Taxis established a postal service on behalf of Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire

Sixteenth century

1516 – Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts"

Seventeenth century

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.
1680 - The first penny post system, known as the London Penny Post, for local delivery was introduced by William Dockwra in London.

Eighteenth century

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.

19th Century - 1820s

1825 - The US establishes a dead letter office.
1828 - Hellenic postal service established.

1830s

1830 – First mail train in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (birth of the Travelling Post Office).
1837 - Rowland Hill publishes landmark "Post Office Reform: its Importance and Practicability" in UK.
1839 5 December - Uniform Fourpenny Post starts throughout the UK.

1840s

1840 10 January - Uniform Penny Post starts throughout the UK.
1840 6 May - The Penny Black and Two pence blue, world's first postage stamps becomes 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 - 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
1849 1 November first stamps of Bavaria

1850s

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 - 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 (now part of Romania) issues its first stamps.
1858 28 October - Cordoba issues its first stamps.
1858 - London is divided into postal districts, precursor of UK Postcode System.
1859 - Bahamas issues its first stamps.

1860s

1860 - First stamps of Malta under British command
1860 1 November - first stamps of Queensland
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 stamps of Confederate States of America
1861 1 October - first stamps of Hellas
1862 11 January - first stamps of Argentine Republic
1862 - first stamps of Antigua
1863 - Bolivia lets a private contract for mail, 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 first and only stamps solely for the island.
1866 - first stamps of Serbia
1866 - British Honduras issues its first stamps.
1866 - Lombardy-Venetia annexed to Italy, including postal services
1866 - first stamps of Egypt
1867 - first stamps of Bolivia
1867 - first stamps of Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire
1868 - first stamps of Azores

1870s

1870 - Angola issues its first stamps.
1871 - Afghanistan issues its first stamps.
1871 20 April - Japan issues its first stamps.
1873 - Iceland issues its first stamps.
1874 9 October - General Postal Union (later Universal Postal Union) is formed.
1878 - General Postal Union becomes Universal Postal Union.
1879 1 June - Bulgaria issues its first stamps.

1880s

1882 - stamps of Straits Settlements overprinted at Bangkok
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

1890s

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 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 Cameroon.
1898 - stamps of Cuba under US military rule
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

20th Century - 1900s

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 Belgian Congo under Belgian administration

1910s

1911 - United States creates a postal savings system.
1911 - The first UK aerial post.
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.
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

1920s

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 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 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 Algeria
1925 - first stamps of Alaouites
1928 - first stamps of Spanish Andorra

1930s

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.

1940s

1940 - Pitcairn Islands issue their first stamps.
1940 27 December - Guernsey Bisects used for the first time.   
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 - British postal administration takes over in Bahrain
1948 - Pakistan issues its first stamps.
1949 - Newfoundland issues its last stamps.
1949 18 July - Ryukyu Islands issues its first stamps.

1950s

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.

1960s

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.

1970s

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 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
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
1979 - Canal Zone transferred to Panama along with postal service.

1980s

1982 - United States introduces E-COM, an electronic message service.
1983 - United States introduces ZIP + 4.
1984 1st May - Royal Mail begins Frama Label trials in UK 
1984 21 November - first stamps of Burkina Faso
1985 - Jackie Strange becomes first female Deputy US Postmaster General
1985 - United States terminates E-COM service.
1986 1 January - first stamps of Aruba.

1990s

1992 20 March - Belarus issues its first stamps.
1992 26 March - Azerbaijan resumes issuing stamps.
1992 - Kazakhstan issues its first stamps.

21st Century - 2000s

2007 12 April - USPS issues a non-denominated stamp called the forever stamp

The Wikipedia article this is being based upon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_postal_history



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