Postage Stamp Manufacturing

Once upon a time before the adhesive Penny Black was introduced, ink and hand-stamps, usually made from wood or cork, were used to frank the mail which confirmed proof of payment. Clearly, we see this is where the word stamp came from. Initially, stamps would be manufactured by the same companies that provided a country with currency, or by a country’s mint. Soon it was realized stamps actually required a different printing method than money as it was noticed that the pressure when pressing was different for each. Throughout the years of perfecting the printing of stamps, the outcome would also facilitate the modern development of the printing process. Also, the method of hand cutting stamps would change in England first in 1854 and perforation would be a new way. Even though technology has changed the production of stamps, to this day the method of “intaglio” meaning to engrave in Italian, which is etching into the master die by hand, is still used. This method is time-consuming but allows the most desired effect to show off details of the stamps art. Following intaglio are several exacting steps which are carefully inspected at every stage of the printing process. Primarily the inspector’s duty is to watch for errors and rectify them immediately. As the manufacturing processed has improved the stamp’s final result and most errors found are destroyed, some errors still do happen.