Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Postage stamps of British India from my album

The postal history of postal services and postage stamps dates back to 1852 when the Scinde Dawk stamps were first issued by the east India Company from Karachi (present day Karachi of Pakistan in the Sind province). It was years later that the first Penny Black was issued in the United Kingdom.

However, it may pointed out that during the Mughal period and even earlier, a very efficient postal service through messengers on foot, horse and camel back was in place for delivering royal and other important communication all over India. The foot carriers had a wooden rod adorned with copper bells. As he ran towards the next post, the bells signaled his arrival and the next messenger was prompted to get ready. The message was passed on from one courier to the next until it reached its destination. The letters even reached outside India as far as Persia.

The Scinde Dawk stamps were replaced by regular stamps issued by the British government with Queen Victoria heads. My stamp album starts from the stamps issued with stamps bearing heads of the Queen Victoria, above third column from the left, and heads of King George V and VI issued between 1920-1940, as seen above in the first two columns and fourth and fifth columns from the left. 

The stamps of Kings George V and Vi were used by Pakistan after independence from the British India with "PAKISTAN" overprint till Pakistan issued its own indigenous stamps in 1948.

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