DCSIMG

Letter: Credit for stamp

Your article (28 March) that attributes the invention of the adhesive postage stamp to Sir Rowland Hill must be challenged.

Your article (28 March) that attributes the invention of the adhesive postage stamp to Sir Rowland Hill must be challenged.

Sir Rowland Hill was responsible for reforming the postal system but it was James Chalmers, a Dundee bookseller with premises in Castle Street, who proposed the use of stamps. He told Robert Wallace, MP for Greenock, a person whose efforts in this area have been sorely overlooked, of his idea and even suggested how the Stamp Office could print the stamps and how glue could be applied by the use of sponges or brushes.

In fact, as early as 1834, Chalmers had produced a sheet of labels gummed on one side. Chalmers’ entry to the Treasury competition is basically what we now use – a stamp and a cancellation showing date and town.

In spite of this, he received no award and it was left to the citizens of Dundee to honour his work. However, in 1982, the Royal Mail, as part of its series of stamp booklets on postal reform, issued one for “James Chalmers: Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp”. I rest my case.

Colin G Campbell

Denoon Terrace

Dundee

The Royal Mail has refused to rule out the price of a first-class stamp going up to £1 (your report, 28 March)

£1? Is this organisation determined to drive its customers away?

Annie Rogers

John Street

Edinburgh

 

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