The first US postage stamps were issued in 1847, and people have been collecting them ever since. Coming just seven years after the first were introduced in England, the first US ones featured George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
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They often feature presidents and famous people. The rule is that people cannot be featured on them while they are alive. The most popular of all time feature Elvis Presley. The only other person on the list of the ten all-time most popular is Marilyn Monroe.
The most common kinds are called “definitive stamps.” These are the ones printed in the most widely used current denominations, in very large quantities. Another type is the commemorative. These are issued to commemorate historic events, special people, or important subjects. Commemoratives are usually larger in size than definitive and are sold at post offices for an average of two months only, although the commemoratives can be bought by mail order for a year. Special stamps are another type, bearing different designs than the definitive; Christmas stamps are an example of these. These are not the same as special-purpose stamps; that is a different category, issued in the proper denominations for Priority Mail, airmail and so forth.
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US postage stamps come in sheets, rolls (called “coils”) and booklets. While self-stick versions have become increasingly popular, it is also available in the traditional lick-and-stick (called “gummed”) type.
These are not the only product of the USPS that is used in the mail. In addition to these, the USPS issues envelopes that are pre-stamped with US postage, pre-stamped postcards, and aerogrammes. Aerogrammes are self-mailers that come already stamped with US airmail postage and can be folded over and stuck together to form a lightweight letter that doesn’t need a separate envelope.
When postage changes, they are issued bearing letters or simply the words “First Class.” That is because the USPS may start printing these before they know how much the increase is going to be. You can also use any combination of denominations to mail a letter or package; there are no rules that limit the number you can use. However, if you are using a large number, you want to be careful that they are all well stuck so that they do not fall off.