Yugoslavia: Postal Firsts

Who was the inventor of the adhesive postage stamp? For many, the name that first jumps to mind is Rowland Hill who is widely credited with being the originator of the reformed postal service that led to the first adhesive stamp being introduced to Great Britain in 1840 – the Penny Black. Some might even mention the Scottish inventor, James Chalmers, who is outlined formal proposals for adhesive postage stamps and a cancelling method in 1838.

The featured image introduces another name to the frame; that of Lovrenc Košir. In 1835, five years before the first stamps were issued in Great Britain, Košir proposed the use of adhesive tax postmarks (Brieftaxstempel) to the Austrian Department of Commerce in Vienna. The postmarks were called gepresste Papieroblate, translated as ‘pressed paper wafers’ or ‘stamps’. His proposals were rejected and the rest, as they say, is history. What’s interesting is that it is known that Košir had contacts with the reformers in Great Britain – it has been suggested that he may have conceived his ideas from James Chalmers who had experimented with stamp designs as early as 1834 and that Rowland Hill may have based his postal reforms on proposals submitted by Košir.

The featured stamp was issued by Yugoslavia in 1948 to commemorate the 80th death anniversary of Košir where he is recognised as the idealogical creator of the first postage stamp. The stamp is one of five that feature in the set. Four of the stamps denominated in 3d, 5d, 10d and 12d values depict the profile of Košir. The featured 15d airmail stamp also depicts his birth house in Spodnja Luša, Slovenia, and an aeroplane. The stamp is accompanied by an allonge inscribed in Serbo-Croatian and in French citing Košir’s contribution to the invention of the postage stamp. Košir’s contribution is further commemorated in postal issues for Austria (1979) and Slovenia (2004).

To view postal issues of the Yugoslavia, please visit the M&S Philately HipStamp store.

Published by nigelmandsphilatelycom

Nigel Matthews has been a philatelist for more than 30 years. He has a particular interest in the postal history of the Caribbean including associated British Commonwealth countries (incl. Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Monserrat, St Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos) as well as Cuba, Danish West Indies, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Netherlands Antilles and Puerto Rico.

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