What Was the Price of a US Postage Stamp the Year You Were Born?
The price of postage is going up again. Beginning Sunday (1/22), a US postage stamp will set you back 63 cents, an increase of three cents over the current rate.
So How Much Was a Stamp the Year You Were Born?
Clearly, you weren't alive in 1847 when the first US postage stamp became available. But we've outlined below the price of postage since the first stamp was introduced in New York City. According to the US Post Office there were two general-issue stamps available at that time, one with Benjamin Franklin's pictre for five cents and the other depicting George Washington for 10 cents.
The prices listed are for letter-size mailings, up to one ounce. Rates for second-ounce postage, packages and postcards have also varied throughout the years.
I Thought the World Was Going to End in 1974
As the son of a longtime postal employee (until my dad's retirement in 1989), I've always been a fan of the postal system. When it was announced in 1974 that the price of a first-class stamp would be going up to 10 cents (a full dime to mail a letter!), it seemed like the world was going to end.
My parents and seemingly all our friends and neighbors were up in arms about this increase. It was outrageous that the government was increasing the price of postage to 10 cents. People were going to avoid sending any mail that was unnecessary through the Post Office and my dad would surely lose his job.
Somehow, we persevered.
Post Office's Role Changed With the Invention of the Internet
The US Post Office's role in our daily lives has shifted due to email, online bill payment systems, and other electronic communication channels. While the number of traditional mailings has decreased, online shopping has increased the number packages that are handeled by the trusty, old post office.
And yes, I caught hell from my father about 20 years ago when he learned that I was paying my bills online. Sorry, Dad.