Stamp-collecting, a mania in the 1840’s,has grown in to one of the world’s most popular hobbies, a science and business activity today.

Stamp collecting began immediately after world saw the first postage stamp in 1840 issued by Great Britain. The bits of coloured paper were a curiosity and used specimens were retained by some people.

When other countries followed Britain, the idea of exchanging stamps came into existence and collecting became more interesting. Thus the hobby was born.

In 1841, a lady advertised in a London newspaper for used stamps. She wanted to paper her bedroom walls with stamps. She had a collection of about 16,000, but wanted more to complete the project. She is considered world’s first stamp collector.

Who was considered as the father of Philately?


Author: Jyothi09 Nov 2007 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Thanks for your information Mr. Jose Mathew.

It may be suitable to call as “ ‘Fathers’ of Philately” since the following are served equally in the field of collecting stamps.

1) Thomas Keay Tapling (Oct 30, 1855 to Apr 11, 1891)
Tapling a famous England Philatelist, he started collection during his school days in 1865 and continued for the rest of his life. In 1871 Tapling joined Royal Philatelic Society of London and served as a Vice President for 10 years.

Tapling bestowed his collection to the British Museum. Today “The Tapling Collection” resides in the Philatelic Section of the British Library. He was named a "Father of Philately" on the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists

2) John Walter Scott (Nov 2, 1845 to Jan 4, 1919)
Scott began stamp dealing in 1860 in his native London. In 1868, he began publishing the American Journal of Philately, the first important stamp journal in the U.S. Scott was called “The Father of American Philately” in his lifetime.

3) John Kerr Tiffany (Feb 9, 1842 to Mar 3, 1897)
Tiffany was America's most prominent philatelist of the 19th century. He began collecting as a student in France in the late 1850s, continuing for the rest of his life. In the 1860s he decided to begin collecting “every printed matter connected to the hobby of philately,” and by the 1870s he had built an incomparable philatelic library. Tiffany was named as one of the “Fathers of Philately

4) James Ludovic Lindsay 26th Earl of Crawford, K.T (Jul 28, 1847 to Jan 31, 1913)
Lindsay is one of the world's most celebrated philatelists. He is usually known by his title, the Earl of Crawford, or Lord Crawford. Although he did not begin stamp collecting until his early 50s, in a short time he had built many outstanding collections, and amassed the greatest philatelic library of his time.

In Lord Crawford's honor, the Royal Philatelic Society London established the Crawford Medal in 1914. It is awarded annually for “the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the two years preceding the award.” In 1921, when the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists was begun, his name was included as one of the “Fathers of Philately."


Author: Jose Mathew09 Nov 2007 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Hi joythi,
Thank you for more information. But I am disagreeing with you in the matter of
“ ‘Fathers’ of Philately”. In my view there is only one Father for the hobby, that is an educator named Rowland Hill of England. In 1837, he advocated prepayment of postage and uniform domestic rates by weight. Under the old system the addressee paid the postage.

Rowland Hill devised a prepaid envelope and adhesive postage stamp. The stamp picturing Queen Victoria was issued on May 1,1840 and was in use from MAY 6. Two years later stamps were used by private postal service in New York.

With regards
Jose Mathew

Author: Jyothi09 Nov 2007 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Hi Mr. Jose Mathew,

Thanks for your correction in my reply.

According to my knowledge, Mr. Hill dealt only with prepayment of postage, not collection of stamps. Then how could he be "Father of Philately" ? Let me know if I am wrong.

When a new Philatelist survives better than already existing Philatelists, his name was considered as “Father of Philately”. Hence Father of Philately will not be a single person, but it is group of reputed Philatelists. Am I correct ?

Let me know your comments in this regard.


Author: Jose Mathew10 Nov 2007 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Hi Jyothi,

Hill is the acknowledged Father of the Postage Stamp. He published his pamphlet, Post Office Reform; its Importance and Practicability (1837), suggesting the establishment of a uniform postal rate for all of Great Britain, and the development of a means of prepayment of the postage.

Scott was called “The Father of American Philately” in his lifetime. His first interest in stamp dealing began around 1860 in his native London. It continued in 1863 when he came to New York City.

With regards
jose mathew

Author: Jyothi12 Nov 2007 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Hello Mr. Jose,

Thanks for providing complete details.


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