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Stamp album sleeve.jpg
Philately is the study of revenue or postage stamps. This includes the design, production, and uses of stamps after they are issued. A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. Postal history is the study of postal systems of the past. It includes the study of rates charged, routes followed, and special handling of letters.

Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects, such as covers (envelopes, postcards or parcels with stamps affixed). It is one of the world's most popular hobbies, with estimates of the number of collectors ranging up to 20 million in the United States alone.


Selected article

Cscr-featured.svg The postage stamps of Ireland are issued by the postal operator of the independent Irish state. Ireland was part of the UK when the world's first postage stamps were issued in 1840. These stamps, and all subsequent British issues, were used in Ireland until the new Irish Government assumed power in 1922. On 17 February 1922 the existing British stamps were overprinted with Irish text for use as definitives until Irish designs were available. Rgular definitive were produced by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and issued on 6 December 1922; the first stamp was a 2d value, depicting a map of Ireland (including Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom).

Since then nine series of definitives have been issued while commemorative stamps did not appear until 1929. Oifig an Phoist, the Irish Post Office, issued all Irish stamps up to 1984 when the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was divided into two semi-state organisations; An Post took over the responsibility for all Irish postal services including the issuing of postage stamps.

Forerunners, essays, miniature sheets, booklet, coil, airmail stamps, postage dues and postal stationery are some of the Irish philatelic items known and collectable.

Selected picture

Zeppelin mail-1934 Xmas flight Gibraltar-Brazil.jpg

Cover sent by Zeppelin from Gibraltar on 20 November 1934 to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via London and Berlin for the Christmas flight (12th South American flight) of 1934 that took place between the 8th and 19th. The two red "MIT LUFTSCHIFF GRAF ZEPPELIN" and green circular marking were applied by the post office. This is a printed matter item that has been registered.

Selected biography

Rowland Hill - Project Gutenberg etext 13103.jpg

Sir Rowland Hill (1795–1879) was a British teacher and pamphleteer who popularised the concept of penny postage at a rate of a penny per half ounce, without regard to distance. He is usually credited in the UK with originating the basic concepts of the modern postal service.

Hill published his famous pamphlet Post Office Reform: its Importance and Practicability in 1837 in which he called for postage to be prepaid by the sender. Hitherto postage had been paid by the recipient. He suggested the prepayment be proven by prepaid letter sheets or adhesive stamps.

In 1840 his proposals led to the introduction of the world's first postage stamp; the Penny Black.


There is a discussion about getting more people involved in Philately on Wikipedia. Join the discussion and share your thoughts here.

WikiProject Philately organizes the development of articles relating to philately. The collaboration focuses on one article at a time until they can proudly put that article up as a featured article candidate. This will last until they have run through a pool of "featurable" articles, then they will use a time-based system.

Currently there is one philatelic featured article, if you can help with another candidate, please do so.

For those who want to skip ahead to the smaller articles, the WikiProject also maintains a list of articles in need of improvement or that need to be started. There are also many red inked topics that need to be started on the list of philatelic topics page.

Postage stamps of Ireland is a Cscr-featured.svg Featured article
British Library Philatelic Collections, Postal codes in Canada, Pony Express, and 2009 Royal Mail industrial disputes are Symbol support vote.svg Good articles


Template:/box-header ... that the first Penny Post was established in London in 1680 by William Dockwra nearly 200 years before the better known Uniform Penny Post that was part of the postal reforms of 1839 and 1840 in Great Britain.

... that Czesław Słania (1921-2005) is the most prolific stamp engraver, with more than 1,000 post stamps for 28 postal administrations?

... that a forerunner is a postage stamp used during the time period before a region or territory issues stamps of its own?

... that the Royal Philatelic Society is the oldest philatelic society in the world, founded in London in 1869?

... that Marcophily is the specialised study and collection of postmarks, cancellations and postal markings applied by hand or machine on mail?

... that throughout U.S. history, different types of mail bags have been called mail pouch, mail sack, mail satchel, catcher pouch, mochila saddle mailbag, and portmanteau depending on form, function, place and time?

... that Non-denominated postage are postage stamps that do not show a monetary value on the face?

... that the Daguin machine was a cancelling machine first used in post offices in Paris in 1884?

... that the first airmail of the United States was a personal letter from George Washington carried on an aerial balloon flight from Philadelphia by Jean Pierre Blanchard? Template:/box-footer

Stamp of the month

Uganda Cowries, also known as the Uganda Missionaries, were the first adhesive postage stamps of Uganda. They were made on a typewriter in March 1895, because there was no printing press in Uganda. After a much-needed new typewriter ribbon arrived, the colour of the characters changed from black to a violet colour. The stamps were valid for postage within the Kingdom of Buganda; in adjoining kingdoms and provinces they were used only for communications between officials of the Church Missionary Society.

The stamps were denominated in different values of cowries (monetary seashells), at 200 cowries per rupee or 12 1/2 cowries = 1d. The simple design shows only the initials of the jurisdiction and a number for the denomination. Forgeries are known, and only a small number of genuine stamps seem to have survived. Surcharged values also exist; of these Robson Lowe commented, "All are rare. We do not recall selling a copy in over 25 years."

Template:/box-header Williams, Louis N., & Williams, Maurice (1990). Fundamentals of Philately {revised ed.). American Philatelic Society. ISBN 0-9335-8013-4.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Hornung, Otto (1970). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Stamp Collecting. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-01797-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Stuart Rossiter & John Fowler (1991). World History Stamp Atlas (reprint ed.). pub: Black Cat. ISBN 0-7481-0309-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Template:/box-footer


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