Notes from the Past

Advertisements on Postal Material

On a number of occasions, stamps and private advertising messages have been closely combined.  The 1882 issue of New Zealand can be found with ads on the back for such products as soap and chocolate.  In Great Britain, a quantity of the 1d. lilac stamp of 1881 and the ½d. denomination of 1887 had an ad for Pears soap imprinted on the back over the gum.  However, postal authorities prohibited their use.

Private advertising is commonly found in stamp booklets, either on interleaving or on the tabs adjacent to the stamps.  Outstanding examples of advertising in stamp booklets are the two British stamp booklets that commemorate the pottery firm of Wedgwood.

Late in 1980, US Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr. (R. California) introduced a bill (HR 8637) that, if enacted, would make space on postage stamps available for sale to commercial firms for display of their logos.  This was intended as an attempt to reduce the deficit under which the US Postal Service was operating and help to lessen the spiraling postal rates.  The proposal generated heated debate within the philatelic community, with arguments offered both for and against the idea.  Ultimately the proposal died. 


- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume One A-F
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted November 6, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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