A postal stationery envelope used from London to Düsseldorf in 1900, with additional postage stamp perfinned "C & S" identifying the user as "Churchill & Sim" per the seal on the reverse shown on inset. A perfin, the contraction of 'PERForated INitials', is a pattern of tiny holes punched through a postage stamp. Organizations used perforating machines to make perforations forming letters or designs in postage stamps with the purpose of preventing pilferage. It is often difficult to identify the originating uses of individual perfins because there are often no identifying features but when a perfin is affixed to a cover that has some user identifying feature, like a company name, address, or even a postmark or cancellation of a known town where the company had offices, this enhances the perfin.
... 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?
The British Guiana 1c magenta is among the rarest of the world's postage stamps, issued in limited numbers in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1856. Only one specimen is now known to exist.
An expected delivery of stamps by ship did not arrive in 1856, so the local postmaster, E.T.E. Dalton, authorised a printer, Joseph Baum and William Dallas, of Georgetown, to print an emergency issue of three stamps. Dalton gave some specifications about the design, but the printer chose to add a ship image of his own design on the stamp series. The one copy known to exist is in used condition and has been cut into an octagonal shape. A signature, in accordance to Dalton's policy, can be seen on the left hand side. Although dirty and heavily postmarked on the upper left hand side, it is nonetheless regarded as priceless.
An unsubstantiated rumour developed in the 1920s that a second copy of the stamp had been discovered, and that the then owner of the stamp, Arthur Hind, quietly purchased this second copy and destroyed it.