The Stamp Makes Its Debut:
On May 1, 1840, Great Britain issued the world's first postage stamp: the Penny Black. it revolutionized postal services worldwide.
Before postage stamps, mail recipients usually paid the postal fees. Sometimes they refused to pay. Fees often varied according to distance within a single country.
With the Penny Black, mail could be sent anywhere in the United Kingdom for a standard fee. Senders prepaid the fee; the stamp provided proof of payment. The postage stamp was very popular with the British people. Use of the mails soared.