While Orville and Wilbur Wright are generally considered to have been the first to complete a powered and controlled aircraft flight it is also generally accepted that the aeroplane was the invention of Sir George Cayley in 1799 at Brompton, near Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.
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Naturally, the ease with which one can communicate with people worldwide via email and other modern instant messaging systems has its advantages, but these methods have caused a great decline in the act of physically writing a letter and sending the item to another person via a postal delivery service. The big question is if, and when, will the postage stamp as we know it cease to exist? And what, if any, effect will this have on the value of stamp collections in the future?
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The man in the photograph above features in the Guinness Book of Records more than once! He was responsible for producing the artwork for more than 1,000 stamps for many countries, an incredible amount considering the time and precision demanded for every single engraving.
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Now and then we focus on the incredible variety of subjects that can be found on postage stamps, some being very unusual. And today I came across some such stamps. Those in question feature a sport whose participants must not only have a considerable amount of stamina but also excellent navigational skills. The sport, orienteering, began in Sweden in the late 19th Century and involved the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass.
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As a young boy collecting stamps I was often more attracted to those with colour and shape rather than rarity. Diamond-shaped stamps from Hungary, Monaco and the Burundi particularly caught my eye.
The stamp on the left is from Hungary 1953, overprinted to celebrate a famous 6 goals to 3 victory by the national team over England at Wembley Stadium.
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Investigating the origin of the English-language term “Gordon Bennett”, once commonly used as an expression of surprise, I came to the conclusion that there does not seem to be a definitive explanation. Various theories abound. What is certain is that a motor car race held in Ireland in 1903, and a hot-air balloon race first held in 1906, was named after a certain Gordon Bennett. In tracing the origins of Gordon Bennett, I discovered that there were two famous Gordon Bennetts who might have been the source.
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If you are a regular visitor to the magazine you will know that every now and then we feature what might be considered to be an unusual subject for a postage stamp. This brief article concerns what many people think is a very important British institution – the Public House, more commonly known as the pub.
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It’s happened before and it will happen again – postage stamps being used as a medium for propaganda. Recently, North Korea exercised “The month of the fight against American imperialism” and also commemorated the beginning of the Korean War (1950-53).
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Below are some examples of the hundreds of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s vast stock.
A few attractive booklets from the Channel Islands including this from Guernsey:
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