The Irish Connection --:
The first stamps were printed in sheets of 240 stamps in 20 rows of 12 and had to be individually cut with a scissors. It was, in fact, an Irishman, Henry Archer from Dublin, who invented the perforating machine. It came into operation in 1850 and could perforate 3,000 sheets of stamps per hour. In order to ensure that stamps were not re-used, some sort of cancellation was required. The chosen cancel was known as a Maltese cross. Because of the difficulty in distinguishing the cancellation against the black stamp background, the Penny Red' replaced the 'Penny Black' in 1841 and the red ink for cancelling was replaced by the now familiar black ink.The Irish Post Office --:
From 1814 until Irish Independence in 1922, British stamps continued to be used in Ireland. When the Anglo- Irish Treaty was signed in London on 6th. December 1921 the Irish free State was established, consisting of twenty -six counties. On February 8th. 1922 the Dublin General Post Office announced that , pending the issue of specially designed Irish stamps, British stamps would be over printed for use in Ireland. British stamps were overprinted right up until 1937 with the words Saorstat Eireann(The Irish Free State) and Rialtas Sealadach na hEireann 1922(The Provisional Government of Ireland 1922).
The first truly Irish stamp went on sale on 6th December 1922, the
2d Map of Ireland. It was chosen following a design competition organised by the
Provisional Government. J. Ingram submitted the winning entry. The other design of these
early issues included "The Sword of Light", The Arms of the Four Provinces of
Ireland", and the "Cross of Cong", seen here on the left.The dies for these
stamps were engraved at the Royal Mint in London and a specially watermarked paper was
made with an overall pattern of monogram "SE"(Saorstat Eireann) which was used
for all Irish stamps until the introduction of the new Irish Constitution in 1937, after
which the monogram in the watermark was changed to "e" (Eire). after 1971 all
Irish stamps have been printed on unwatermarked paper
Further series introduced in 1982 and 1990 featuring Irish Architecture and Irish
As well as selling permanent sale or definitive stamps, each year the post office
issues stamps recognising famous people, events, etc. They are known as special and
commemorative stamps. The first such Irish commemorative stamp was issued in 1929 to
coincide with the Centenary of Catholic Emancipation.
For further details go to Voyager Stamp Club on this site.