The Post Office Department used new Standard JR-1B biplanes specially modified to carry the mail while the war was still in progress, but following the war operated mostly World War I surplus military de Havilland DH-4 aircraft. However, one denomination introduced in the Parcel Post series — 20 cents — had proved useful, and the Post Office added this value to the Washington-Franklin issues in 1914, along with a 30-cent stamp. Researchers have claimed that the widespread availability of newspapers contributed to a high literacy rate in the US. It was signed into law by President George Washington on February 20, 1792. The Lincoln Centennial’s portrait format distinguished it from all other commemoratives released between 1893 and 1926, which were produced exclusively in landscape format. Today this is the site of the Jefferson Memorial Park. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became President. The 1885 Special Delivery issue was the first U.S. postage stamp designed in the double-width format. National first printed these, then in 1873 Continental received the contract — and the plates that National used. The 5-cent stamp paid for a letter weighing less than one-half ounce and traveling up to 300 miles, the 10-cent stamp for deliveries to locations greater than 300 miles, or, twice the weight deliverable for the 5-cent stamp. On February 20, 1792, United States President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act into law. Consequently, there is little surviving Pony Express mail today, only 250 examples known in existence. The famous Presidential Issue, known as “Prexies” for short, came out in 1938. When President George Washington signed into law the Postal Service Act of 1792, thereby establishing the United States Post Office Department, … The Post Office Department was enlarged during the tenure of President Andrew Jackson. Other attempts focused on a dedicated postal service between two of the larger colonies, such as Massachusetts and Virginia, but the available services remained limited in scope and disjointed for many years. Pickering continued in the position until 1795, when he briefly served as secretary of war, before becoming the third U.S. secretary of state. In the 1970s, they were replaced by the Americana series, in which colors became purely a matter of designer preference. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The law guaranteed the sanctity of personal correspondence, and provided the entire country with low-cost access to information on public affairs, while establishing a right to personal privacy. On April 13, 1861, (the day after the firing on Fort Sumter) John H. Reagan, postmaster-general of the Confederate States of America, ordered local postmasters to return their U.S. stamps to Washington D.C. (although it is unlikely that many did so), while in May the Union decided to withdraw and invalidate all existing U.S. stamps, and to issue new stamps. Congress formalized the idea that the post office would be a communication network for the entire nation with the Postal Service Act of 1792, Adelman said. Franklin had already made a significant contribution to the postal service in the colonies while serving as the postmaster of Philadelphia from 1737 and as joint postmaster general of the colonies from 1753 to 1774. The widespread circulation of important newspapers by mail, such as the New York Weekly Tribune, facilitated coordination among politicians in different states. Under the act, newspapers would be allowed in the mails at low rates to promote the spread of information across the states. Other innovations in what has become known as the 1869 Pictorial Issue included the first use of two-color printing on U.S. stamps, and as a consequence the first invert errors. The post-World War II stamp program followed a consistent pattern for many years: a steady stream of commemorative issues sold as single stamps at the first-class letter rate. The U.S. Post Office Department had become increasingly lax about employing purple for 3-cent stamps, and after the war, departures from that color in double-width commemoratives veritably became the rule rather than the exception (although UPU colors and purple for 3-cent stamps would continue to be used in the definitive issues of the next decades. In the places where the numbers normally appear on each sheet, the name of the country is substituted, engraved in capital letters. A 2-cent stamp in black featuring Andrew Jackson was issued in 1863 and is now known to collectors as the “Black Jack”. Postmaster General John McLean, in office from 1823 to 1829, was the first to call it the Post Office Department rather than just the “Post Office.” The organization received a boost in prestige when President Andrew Jackson invited his Postmaster General, William T. Barry, to sit as a member of the Cabinet in 1829. About 3/4 of all federal civilian employees worked for the Post Office. Each stamp was hand engraved in what is believed to be steel, and laid out in sheets of 200 stamps. The first post office in Greenfield, MA, from a c. 1910 postcard / Wikimedia Commons The Postal Service Act, signed by President George Washington on February 20, 1792… After postal rates rose that July, this 2-cent red Washington was redesigned as a 3-cent stamp and issued in the purple color that now became ubiquitous among U.S. commemoratives. The Post Office Act (17 Stat. The Postal Service Act was a piece of United States federal legislation that established the United States Post Office Department. Unlike any definitive stamps ever issued before, the 1902–03 issues also had ornate sculptural frame work redolent of Beaux-Arts architecture about the portrait, often including allegorical figures of different sorts, with several different types of print used to denote the country, denominations and names of the subjects. READ MORE: When People Used the Postal Service to Mail Their Children, Postal Service Act regulates United States Post Office Department, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/postal-service-act-regulates-united-states-post-office-department. The 1-cent stamp achieved notoriety, at least among philatelists, because production problems (the stamp design was too tall for the space provided) led to a welter of plate modifications done in piecemeal fashion, and there are no fewer than seven major varieties, ranging in price from $100 to $200,000 (the latter for the only stamp of the 200 images on the first plate that displays the design’s top and bottom ornamentation complete). The 2-cent George Washington stamp appeared with two different designs (the original version was poorly received) while each of the other values has its own individual design. Less than 10 percent of the 1,000,000 of each denomination issued were sold and the remainders were incinerated (the stamps were only available for sale to the public from April 19, 1930, to June 30, 1930). This was the law that established the United States Post Office Department. As the Post Office expanded, difficulties were experienced due to a lack of employees and transportation. From 1924 on, commemorative stamps appeared every year. Although popular with collectors today, the unconventional stamps were not very popular among a population who was accustomed to postage that bore classic portrayals of Washington, Franklin and other forefathers. The volume of mail expanded much faster than the population, as it carried annually 100 letters and 200 newspapers per 1000 white population in 1790, and 2900 letters and 2700 newspapers per thousand in 1840. In its first year of operation, the Post Office completed 1,208 airmail flights with 90 forced landings. Coltharp, used inexpensive parcel-post rates to ship more than eighty thousand masonry bricks some four hundred seven miles via horse-drawn wagon and train for the construction of a bank building in Vernal, Utah. Widespread hoarding of coins during the Civil War created a shortage, prompting the use of stamps for currency. In 1910, the Post Office began phasing out the double-lined watermark, replacing it by the same U S P S logo in smaller single-line letters. Because news was considered crucial to an informed electorate, the 1792 law distributed newspapers to subscribers for 1 penny up to 100 miles and 1.5 cents over 100 miles; printers could send their newspapers to other newspaper publishers for free. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904 prompted a set of five stamps, while a trio of stamps commemorated the Jamestown Exposition, held in Norfolk, Virginia in 1907. And the act addressed issues related to commerce and privacy. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 283, enacted June 8, 1872) formally incorporated the United States Post Office Department into the United States Cabinet. 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