The Pacific Ocean island Kingdom of Tonga, Polynesia, went into the history books as the first country to issue self-adhesive stamps in 1963. The series, circular in shape, was printed on embossed gilt-foiled paper and commemorated the 1962 first issue of gold coins by Polynesia.
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(See also article published on May 5th ‘First African Stamps’) William Humphrys was born in Dublin in 1794. At an early age he moved to the United States. There he studied engraving techniques under the tutelage of a Mr. George Murray in Philadelphia. In 1815 he embarked on his career as an engraver and stamp engraver for the United States government.
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The first postage stamps issued from the continent of Africa were released in September, 1853. The territory of ‘Cape of Good Hope’, then a British colony administered as the Cape Colony, was the issuer. It remained a British colony until being incorporated into the independent Union of South Africa in 1910 (now known as the Republic of South Africa).
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