This Day in History… June 6, 1955

U.S. Issues Its Only Certified Mail Stamp 

U.S. #FA1 – The Certified Mail stamp picturing a letter carrier.

On June 6, 1955, the U.S. Post Office issued its first and only Certified Mail Stamp, U.S. #FA1.

The U.S. first implemented a registered letter system on July 1, 1855. For the next 56 years, mailers could pay the registration fee, which ranged from five to twenty cents over these years, with cash or stamps.

U.S. #F1 – The 1911 Registry Stamp.

In 1911, the U.S. Post Office issued a registration stamp for the prepayment of registry fees. This new stamp could only be used to pay the registry fee and was not valid for regular postage. It remained in use for less than two years, after which point the registration fee could be paid by using regular postage stamps.

Then in 1955 the U.S. Post Office announced that it would issue a new Certified Mail stamp. According to the Postmaster general at the time, “Certified Mail, a new service of the Post Office Department [was] designed to give mail patrons most of the advantages of registered mail but at a lower cost and less trouble.”

U.S. #FA1 FDC – Certified Mail Plate Block First Day Cover.

Certified Mail service officially began on June 6, 1955 with the issue of #FA1. It could be used on first class mail for which the sender claimed no insurance, but wanted proof of delivery. Certified Mail is a form of registration – it gives mail special protection and provides the sender with proof of delivery. This was used in addition to the regular postage and required the recipient to sign for his letter or package upon delivery.

No additional Certified Mail stamps were ever issued after #FA1, but regular definitive stamps were often used to pay the fee.

Looking for a plate block or sheet of Certified Mail stamps? Or additional First Day Covers? Click on the first stamp image above and you’ll find these options beneath the main image on the page you’re brought to.

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