Notes from the Past

Favorable Rates for Newspapers and Advertisers in 1847

Newspapers, printers, and advertisers have long been accorded favorable treatment by the Post Office under the guidance of the Congress.  The following is an excerpt from the Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Post Office published in 1847 under the heading Rates of Postage:
On all handbills, circulars, advertisements or business cards, printed or lithographed, not exceeding one sheet in size, sent any distance, three cents, to be pre-paid upon delivery at the office and before they are put in the mails, and all such will be charged by postmasters as pre-paid matter in the post bills and upon their accounts of mails sent, and stamped or marked "paid," with the name of the office from which sent.

On all pamphlets, magazines, or other matter "of every kind" that is transmittable by mail, and has no written communication thereon, (other than the address,) weighting one ounce or less, or for any newspaper exceeding nineteen hundred square inches of surface, two and a half cents, and for each additional ounce or fraction excess over half an ounce, one cent.

On all newspapers not exceeding nineteen hundred square inches of surface, sent from the office of publication to subscribers, for any distance not over one hundred miles, or any distance within the State in which they are mailed, one cent each.  If carried over one hundred miles, and out of the State in which they are mailed, they are to be charged with one and a half cents each.  This postage is chargeable by the newspaper, not by the sheet.  Hence, if two or more newspapers be printed on a sheet full postage is to be charged on each copy.

On "transient newspapers," (by which is meant all not regularly sent from the office of publication to subscribers,) three cents is to be pre-paid at the office before they are put in the mail; to be entered on the post bills, and upon the account of mails sent, and stamped or marked "paid," with the name of the post office from which sent.

These rates may be contrasted with the then current letter rate of 5¢ per half ounce for distances less than 300 miles and 10¢ per half ounce for distances greater than 300 miles.  The italicized portions were italicized in the original.

Posted May 9, 2000

Editor's Note:  Modern philatelists are indebted to Theron Wierenga who republished this volume in 1980.

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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