A Postal code, also known in various countries as a post code, postcode, or ZIP code, is a series of letters and/or digits appended to a postal address for the purpose of sorting mail.
Germany was the first country to introduce a postal code system, in 1941. The United Kingdom followed in 1959 and the United States in 1963. By February 2005, 117 of the 190 member countries of the Universal Postal Union had postal code systems. A few countries that do not have national systems include Ireland, Hong Kong and Panama.
Postal services have their own formats and placement rules for postal codes. In most English-speaking countries, the postal code forms the last item of the address, whereas in most continental European countries it precedes the name of the city or town. Most postal codes are numeric. The few independent nations use alphanumeric postal code systems, such as, Argentina, Canada and United Kingdom.
Before postal codes were devised large cities were often divided into postal zones or postal districts, usually numbered from 1 upwards within each city. The newer postal code systems often incorporate the old zone numbers, as with London postal district numbers, for example. Ireland still uses postal district numbers in Dublin.
A crash cover is any type of cover, (including air accident cover, interrupted flight cover, wreck cover) meaning any piece of mail that has been recovered from a fixed-wing aircraft, airship or aeroplane crash, train wreck, shipwreck or other postal transportation accident during its journey from sender to recipient.
In many cases it was possible to recover some or even all of the mail being carried and the postal authorities typically apply a postal marking (cachet), label, or mimeograph that gets affixed to the cover explaining the delay and damage to the recipient, and possibly enclose the letter in an "ambulance cover" or "body bag" if it was badly damaged and forwarded to its intended destination.
... 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.