175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, first adhesive postage stamp
In the coming year, philatelists and perhaps others (such as myself) will be marking the 175th anniversary of the first adhesive postage stamp, issued in the UK on 6 May 1840. The above example is from my personal collection and is the second example that I've owned in 45 years of collecting stamps. Though I don't collect stamps as actively as I used to, I did hang on to this example after selling the majority of the collection a number of years ago.
Classics such as the Penny Black and other issues from the 19th and early 20th centuries will always be in demand from collectors. The dwindling nature of letter writing, general correspondence and the mails themselves have changed so much in the last twenty years the necessity of stamp usage and the collecting of these items have decreased dramatically. It's sad to think that such a great hobby that entertained and educated so many generations of all classes of people over the years prior to the late twentieth century has fallen on difficult times. Perhaps stamp collecting will experience a renaissance someday, maybe even before the bicentennial in 2040. I thought it would be nice to step away from my other collectible interest for a moment to pay homage to what in historical terms is the recent past and present a hope for the future of another great hobby.