The Storied History of the United States Postal Service

History of the Post Office

1847: The First Stamps
In the postal service's early years, it was not the sender but the receiver who paid for the delivery of the mail. This added to the delivery time and increased the likelihood the mail would be refused. With the introduction of the first stamps in 1847, the service was able to standardize delivery costs and provide more efficient service. The first stamps bore the likenesses of first Postmaster General Franklin, on the five-cent, and first President George Washington on the ten cent.

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.