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This is a partial timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates and events relating to postage stamps.
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage. Then the stamp is affixed to the face or address-side of any item of mail—an envelope or other postal cover —which they wish to send. The item is then processed by the postal system, where a postmark or cancellation mark—in modern usage indicating date and point of origin of mailing—is applied to the stamp and its left and right sides to prevent its reuse. Next the item is delivered to its addressee.
A postmark is a postal marking made on an envelope, parcel, postcard or the like, indicating the place, date and time that the item was delivered into the care of a postal service, or sometimes indicating where and when received or in transit. Modern postmarks are often applied simultaneously with the cancellation or killer that marks postage stamps as having been used. Sometimes a postmark alone is used to cancel stamps, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Postmarks may be applied by handstamp or machine, using methods such as rollers or inkjets, while digital postmarks are a recent innovation.
An overprint is an additional layer of text or graphics added to the face of a postage or revenue stamp, postal stationery, banknote or ticket after it has been printed. Post offices most often use overprints for internal administrative purposes such as accounting but they are also employed in public mail. Well-recognized varieties include commemorative overprints which are produced for their public appeal and command significant interest in the field of philately.
Indian postal systems for efficient military and governmental communications had developed long before the arrival of Europeans. When the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish and British conquered the Marathas who had already defeated the Mughals, their postal systems existed alongside those of many somewhat independent states. The British East India Company gradually annexed the other powers on the sub-continent and brought into existence a British administrative system over most of modern-day India, with a need to establish and maintain both official and commercial mail systems.
Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain surveys postal history from the United Kingdom and the postage stamps issued by that country and its various historical territories until the present day.
This is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of Australia.
Postal services in New Zealand have existed since at least 1831, when the Postmaster-General of New South Wales deputed a Bay of Islands merchant to receive and return mail. Governor William Hobson issued an ordinance covering postal matters, although the British government retained control until 1848.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of the British post office in Bangkok, Thailand.
Postage stamps and postal history of the Canal Zone is a subject that covers the postal system, postage stamps used and mail sent to and from the Panama Canal Zone from 1904 up until October 1978, after the United States relinquished its authority of the Zone in compliance with the treaty it reached with Panama.
Ross Dependency stamps have been issued by New Zealand postal authorities for use on mail from Scott Base since 1957. Overprinted New Zealand stamps had been used for mail on two earlier expeditions to the region.
Linn's World Stamp Almanac defines a provisional stamp as "a postage stamp issued for temporary use to meet postal demands until new or regular stocks of stamps can be obtained."
The postal history of Malta began in the early modern period, when pre-adhesive mail was delivered to foreign destinations by privately owned ships for a fee. The earliest known letter from Malta, sent during the rule of the Order of St John, is dated 1532. The first formal postal service on the islands was established by the Order in 1708, with the post office being located at the Casa del Commun Tesoro in Valletta. The first postal markings on mail appeared later on in the 18th century.
The postage stamps and postal history of Guam is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of the United States territory of Guam. Its postal service is linked to those of the Philippines during the Spanish Empire and, since 1898, to the United States of America. A peculiarity is that, for a short period in the 1930s, Guam had a local post service.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Jamaica.
Official mail is mail sent from, or by, an authorized department of government, governmental agency or international organization and normally has some indication that it is official; a certifying cachet, return address or other means of identity, indicating its user. In some countries, postage stamps have been issued specifically for official mail.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Germany and philatelically related areas. The main modern providers of service were the Reichspost (1871–1945), the Deutsche Post under Allied control (1945–1949), the Deutsche Post of the GDR (1949–1990), the Deutsche Bundespost (1949–1995), along with the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin (1949–1990), and are now the Deutsche Post AG.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Cyprus. The country's postal history is intricately linked to the island's political past.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Barbados.
Qatar was a British protectorate from 1916 till it gained independence on 3 September 1971. Until 1950, the country's postal service was administered by an Indian post office in Bahrain. A British office was opened in Doha and sold stamps of British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia until 1957 when overprinted British stamps were introduced. Qatar Post took responsibility for postal administration in May 1963 and joined the Universal Postal Union in January 1969. The first Qatari stamps were issued in 1961 and there was an independence issue in January 1972. Since then, Qatar Post has continued to manage the country's postal administration and to issue its stamps, which are mostly relevant to Qatar itself.
British postal agencies in Eastern Arabia issued early postage stamps used in each of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat and Qatar. Muscat and Dubai relied on Indian postal administration until 1 April 1948 when, following the Partition of India, British agencies were established there. Two agencies were opened in Qatar: at Doha and Umm Said. In Abu Dhabi, an agency was opened on Das Island in December 1960 and in Abu Dhabi City on 30 March 1963. The agencies also supplied stamps to Bahrain until 1960; and to Kuwait during shortages in 1951–53.