The U.S. Postal Service was officially established by George Washington on this day in 1792! The Inverted Jenny above is one of the most valuable stamps in history, and we have one in our collections courtesy of Benjamin K. Miller. It was actually stolen in 1977, but recovered many years later along with other stamps stolen from our collections.
as “America’s number one stamp collector,” Franklin Roosevelt began collecting
stamps as a child. It was a hobby he shared with his mother, Sara Delano
Roosevelt, and it was the far-flung business interests of his Delano relatives
that provided the young collector with a steady supply of foreign stamps. From
his stamps he gained an invaluable knowledge of cultures and of geography.
hobby persisted with Roosevelt his entire life and he was well-known for his
collection. His secretary, Grace Tully, noted that he even traveled with his
stamps, which provided him a period of relaxation each day. He had little
interest in the value of stamps; rather he enjoyed the study of history and
culture that the stamps afforded him.
the time of his death, his collection of stamps numbered over 1,200,000 stamps
bound in 150 albums, each filled with his handwritten notations. Most were sold
at auction. Those he received as gifts from Heads-of-State and foreign
governments were kept in the museum collection at the Roosevelt Library.
here are a number of those items as well as the tools Roosevelt used with his
“The ‘Views of Our Planets’ and 'Pluto—Explored!’ stamps begin their own journeys today — on letters and packages to millions of homes and businesses throughout America,” David Williams, the Postal Service’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, stated in a release. “We trust they’ll find a home in your own collections, too.”
Postage can reveal more than the history of a letter, it can reveal the history of a nation. As noted by the National Postal Museum, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, “every stamp tells a story”—and, I might add, it sometimes tells how the story should be told.
“Penny Black” is the first postage stamp issued in Britain and, more importantly, the first postage stamp issued anywhere. The Penny Black bears the image of Queen Victoria, but the first British postal service did not originate in Victorian England. So where did it?