Stamps date back some 174 years…
The stamp and postage system has been in place since the 19th century.
And the idea of sending items to each other (up and down the country), was introduced for the first time by King Henry VIII.
Stamps were originally launched in 1840. The famous Penny Black being the very first issued in the UK.
Pre-stamps there was no easy way to track the cost of the mailing system.
The service suffered from corruption and refusal from recipients to pay for the post being delivered.
The introduction of a postage stamp with a clear cost association, enabled the Royal Mail to track costs for the first time, and also forced senders to pay up front for the service.
Stamps made the postal delivery system far more efficient, which increased the amount of post being sent.
Figures show that before 1840 an average of 76 million letters were being sent, compared to a staggering 350 million being sent by 1850!
Stamps also served as proof that a letter had been sent through the Royal Mail system, which prevented any corruption.
The stamp was also designed in the image of the current reigning monarch, making it almost impossible for people to replicate.
In 1840, there was only one postal service. A pre-paid envelope costing one shilling (12 old pence), equivalent to around 5p today.
Today, there are a range of postal options, which vary in price depending upon the level of service you choose.
As of today, it costs 56p for a second class stamp and a massive 65p to send a letter first class.
This is a gigantic 1200% increase from what it originally cost in 1840.
The current prices are not so much of an issue, if you are only sending 1 or 2 letters a day.
But if you are a business, school or other organisation who are sending maybe 50, 100 or even more letters a week, your annual postage costs will be into the many thousands of pounds.
However, there is an alternative…
Business, schools and other organisations will find it, much more cost effective to use mail-mark with franking machines to send their letters and small parcels.
On average franking a standard letter with mail-mark will save you 18p each and every time, and you could save up to 27p when sending parcels.
Meaning you could save £1,000’s each year, using a franking machine service.
The Royal Mail has certainly advanced and changed dramatically since its introduction in 1516, with it now being easier than ever, to send mail both nationally and internationally.