Postage stamps have facilitated the delivery of mail since the 1840s. Before then, ink and hand-stamps (hence the word 'stamp'), usually made from wood or cork, were often used to frank the mail and confirm the payment of postage. The first adhesive postage stamp, commonly referred to as the Penny Black, was issued in the United Kingdom in 1840. The invention of the stamp was part of an attempt to reform and improve the postal system in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which, in the early 19th century, was in disarray and rife with corruption. There are varying accounts of the inventor or inventors of the stamp.
on the two pages below, both US and world postage stamps are offered both individually by Scott Catalog number and by country lots.