Story: Mail and couriers

First postage stamp

First postage stamp

Stick-on postage stamps were first used in New Zealand in 1855, when this ‘full-face queen’ stamp showing a young Queen Victoria was produced. Before this, every letter had to be individually paid for at the post office. The basic rate for local letters was twopence, so two of these stamps would be needed. A letter cost a shilling (12 pence) to send to England.

Postage stamp courtesy of New Zealand Post, 1855 Full Face Queens stamp issue.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: GH006335

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Tim Shoebridge, 'Mail and couriers - Beginning of the postal system, 1810s–1850s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/postage-stamp/23044/first-postage-stamp (accessed 9 December 2019)

Story by Tim Shoebridge, published 11 Mar 2010