It was on Wednesday 6th May 1840 that Great Britain issued the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, resulting from reforms by Rowland Hill to simplify and reduce postage costs. It was called ‘The Penny Black’ and the design showed Queen Victoria, without a country name. It laid the foundations for British stamps.
Just in case you forgot – two days ago, on Thursday, May 4th 2017 – self-adhesive stamps today came on sale to the general public for the first time. In future all first and second-class stamp booklets will contain self-adhesive rather than the old-fashioned gummed postage stamps. The new booklets could signal the beginning of the end of “lickable” stamps on sale at British post offices. These new ‘Sticky Stamps’ were introduced after a survey showed a massive 93% of the British public said they would prefer not to lick their stamps. This launch also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Queen Victoria with a special “stamp label” in booklets.