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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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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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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Airmail stamp collecting is a popular topic for many. In the past Yugoslavia used airmail stamps to promote tourism, displaying attractions to be found in the country. The stamps shown here depict aircraft flying over the Thirteenth Century Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Zagreb (now Croatia) and the former King Alexander Bridge over the Sava river in Belgrade (now Serbia). The bridge was opened in 1934 but partially demolished in 1941 by Yugoslav forces in an attempt to stop the advance of invading German troops in the Second World War. It was then completely demolished by allied bombers in 1944.
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The Ferrovia Rimini-San Marino was an electrified narrow gauge railway that connected Rimini in Italy to the tiny Republic of San Marino. The line was opened in 1932 after four years of construction work. It was originally 32 kilometers long, 19 km. of which were in the territory of San Marino. The train would depart from Rimini at 3 meters above sea level and reach the last station at an altitude of 642.8m, passing through four stations and five stops.
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As a child I was always fascinated by the puzzle of how it was possible to place a quite sizeable model of a ship inside a narrow-necked bottle. One of my uncles, an ex-navy man, had a beautiful example in his house but he wouldn’t reveal the secret of how the thing was made.
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1981 was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations to be the International Year of Disabled Persons.
Although many countries issued stamps featuring various disabilities that year, they were by no means the first stamps issued regarding the subject.
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The stamp above depicts Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of the harvest, as an allegorical figure representing agriculture, looking down upon tractors ploughing a field, engraved and printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co. Ltd., and issued by Greece in 1951 as one of a set of six stamps publicising Greece’s post-Second World War economic recovery.
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