Renowned philatelic research scholar Tom Alexander will deliver a lecture on “Postal Revolutions in Britain and America” at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Saturday, Aug. 7 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Alexander will discuss the global effects of British postal reform.
In 1840, Great Britain introduced the world’s first postage stamps. The British postal reform not only transformed the system of mail but also enabled a dramatic increase in the volume of mail due to the affordable and uniform domestic rate based on weight. The new postal reform utilized a system of prepayment of postage stamps and stamped envelopes. Alexander will address why it took officials in the United States of America 23 years to achieve a postal system that their British counterparts implemented within two years.
Alexander is a notable authority on American philatelic and postal history and has published numerous articles and books, including “United States 1847 Cover Census.” He received a 2004 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award for his outstanding lifetime accomplishments in the field of philately. He has also achieved a distinguished career in banking and law and as a lecturer at the University of Missouri.
The lecture is free and reservations are not required.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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