The railway has played an incredibly important part in the lives of billions of people over the years. The first public railway which used only steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, designed and built by George Stephenson, was opened in 1830 in the United Kingdom. Great Britain produced a lovely portrayal of the railway over a set of five stamps to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first journey on that line.
The first Italian railway was the Napoli – Portici line. Running for a grand total of 7.25 km, it was inaugurated on the 3rd of October 1839 by the Borbonic king Ferdinando II. At that time Napoli was the capital of the Regno delle Due Sicilie, and the Italian Peninsula was still divided into several different countries. Only twenty two years later, when Italy was finally unified in 1861, there were a total of 2,370 kilometres of railway throughout the country, the majority of which were in the north-western region of Piedmont. These stamps were issued in 1939 to celebrate 100 years of the railway in Italy.
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The Deutsche Post (DP) was the state-owned postal and telecommunications monopoly of what was – from 1949 until the reunification of Germany on the 3rd of October 1990 – the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). DP issued the above stamps in 1981. From left to right they show the 1892-built Dabel windmill in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the mill (built 1889) at Pahrenz in Saxony, also in Saxony the Dresden-Gohlis windmill (1828) and the mill at Ballstadt in the state of Thuringia.
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In 1963 a 6-stamp commemorative set was issued by Swiss Post, two being of 50c. value. The 5c. stamp commemorated 50 years of the Swiss Boy Scout League and the 10c, seen below, the centenary of the Swiss Alpine Club.
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Quite often when browsing stamps I come across items regarding certain people or subjects of which I previously had no knowledge. But that’s part of the fascination of stamp collecting as a hobby – it can be both intriguing and educational at the same time.
For example, the stamp above from United States Postal Service’s Black Heritage series celebrates the achievements of Benjamin Banneker (1731–1826), who was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer.
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For Pope John Paul II’s visit to Austria in 1983, a postcard with a printed 3 schillings stamp, the ‘Bischofsmütze’, was produced as part of the ‘Get to know Austria’ postcard series. The card depicts the wooden image of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, which is in the Mariazell Basilica, in Mariazell, Austria.
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The Māori people brought the beginnings of their art with them from their ancient homeland in Polynesia when they migrated to New Zealand more than 1,000 years ago and they developed those beginnings to new plateaus over successive generations. Wood carving was the primary art form but it was just one of the Māori’s cultural accomplishments.
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Shown below is a small selection from the thousands of new stamps added to PostBeeld’s stock recently.
A 1956 stamp showing the provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan that came together to form modern Libya in 1951. We have added many more stamps from Libya.
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….. the song with the above title has been recorded on more than 200 singles and albums and by many famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, John McCormack and Roger Whittaker. Ireland is a country renowned not only for its folk music but also for its rock stars.
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The ancestors of New Zealand’s Māori people arrived in canoes from Pacific islands before 1300 AD. The Māori had no written language and thus their history and legends were passed on orally from generation to generation, and through carving and weaving.
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