World Stamps

Isle of Man to give away Penny Black

Feb 18, 2015, 6 AM

The Isle of Man Post Office is celebrating the 175th anniversary of the world's first postage stamp by giving away an example of that stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black issued May 6, 1840 (Scott 1).

The contest is also organized by the British stamp magazine Gibbons Stamp Monthly. Like the Penny Black, the founder of Stanley Gibbons Ltd., Edward Stanley Gibbons, was born 175 years ago, in 1840.

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The Isle of Man issued a set of six stamps Feb. 17 commemorating the two anniversaries. In addition to stamp-on-stamp designs of Great Britain's early stamps and postal stationery, the stamps include portraits of Gibbons, Rowland Hill and William Mulready. Hill is credited with inventing the postage stamp, and Mulready designed the first postal stationery. Nicknamed Mulreadys, these envelopes were issued the same time as the Penny Black.

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