Timeline of postal history

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This is a partial timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates and events relating to postage stamps.

First century[edit]

  • Cursus publicus, the state-run courier (and transportation) service of the Roman Empire was established by Augustus.

Fifteenth century[edit]

Sixteenth century[edit]

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

Seventeenth century[edit]

  • 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.
  • 1663 - England’s Imperial Post Office is established in the Colony of Barbados.
  • 1671 – King Louis XIV grants monopoly over service in Paris to the family Pagot and Rouillé.
  • 1675 - Beat Fischer von Reichenbach granted permission to operate a private postal service in Bern, Switzerland.
  • 1680 - The first penny post system, known as the London Penny Post, for local delivery was introduced by William Dockwra in London.
  • 1690 – Leon II Pajot builds a privately operated postal center on 9 rue des Déchargeurs in Paris - International Horse Carriages carry Mail from France to other countries. The building still exists, it is used today for the exposition center Cremerie de Paris, the courtyard can be visited by the public.

Eighteenth century[edit]

  • 1738 the parisian postal family Pajot & Rouille had become one of the wealthiest families in France.

The Royal French minister of finance cardinal de Fleury estimates that the postal wealth should belong to the Kings of France and nationalizes the privately run postal enterprise. The postal service also leaves the historic Pajot & Rouille buildings (formerly Hotel de Villeroy) located on rue des Dechargeurs / rue des Bourdonnais.

1820s[edit]

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

1830s[edit]

1840s[edit]

1850s[edit]

1860s[edit]

1870s[edit]

1880s[edit]

1890s[edit]

1900s[edit]

1910s[edit]

1920s[edit]

1930s[edit]

1940s[edit]

  • 1940 - Pitcairn Islands issue their first stamps.
  • 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 joins Canada and issues its last stamps.
  • 1949 18 July - Ryukyu Islands issues its first stamps.

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

  • 1982 - United States introduces E-COM, an electronic message service.
  • 1983 - United States introduces ZIP + 4.
  • 1984 21 November - first stamps of Burkina Faso
  • 1985 - Jackie Strange, first female Deputy US Postmaster General
  • 1985 - United States terminates E-COM service.
  • 1986 1 January - first stamps of Aruba

1990s[edit]

  • 1992 20 March - Belarus issues its first stamps.
  • 1992 26 March - Azerbaijan resumes issuing stamps.
  • 1992 - Kazakhstan issues its first stamps.
  • 1994 28 January - Canada issues the world's first 2 part customizable greetings stamps.

2000s[edit]

  • 2000, 28 December - Canada issues the world's first 2 part personalized photo stamps, called "Picture Postage".
  • 2007, 12 April - USPS issues a non-denominated stamp called the forever stamp
  • 2011, 13 July - newly independent South Sudan issues its first postage stamps.