Telephone and Telegraph Stamps

There are four broad categories of  bearer labels that have been issued to indicate prepayment for a service or tax. They are postage stamps, revenue stamps, teleImage result for wells fargo stampgraph stamps and telephone stamps. Worldwide  issues of these stamps vary but overall the number of postage stamps greatly exceeds the number of  revenues, telephone and telegraph stamps. Indeed since 1940 there have been virtually no telegraphs and telephone stamps issued and the number of newer revenue issues has greatly declined. The reasons are technological-there are no telegraph systems any more hence no need for tax stamps on this nonexistent service. Telephones are in everyone’s home and the federal excise tax is paid as a line item on your bill (When phones were scarce and placed in post offices and public places tax stamps for their use made sense). And  stock transfer, home transfer and other taxes today are more easily indicated paid by handstamps rather than preprinted stamps. It is interesting what has happened to the popularity of revenue, telephone and telegraph collecting in the last 75 years. Never as popular as postage stamp collecting, these areas still had many devotees (as US revenues still do). But as newer collectors entered the hobby never having heard of these stamps or having had occasion to see them used, interest in them has waned and today, despite their rarity and beauty, they have only a small following.

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