National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
U.S. & International Stamp Galleries, Lower Level Floor Plan
The history of the stamp begins in 1840, when Great Britain issued the first gummed postage stamp. Since then stamps of every subject, shape, and design have been produced for consumer use or as collectibles. Some stamps tell stories while others contain secrets and hidden meanings. This gallery is for all collectors, as well as for those who know little about the renowned hobby of philately.
With over 13 million philatelic objects in the museum's collection, this gallery features the Rarities Vault, the National Stamp Collection (housed in pull-out cases), and changing and rotating exhibitions (see On View). The section More American Stamps, which opened Oct. 12, 1997, features a selection of more than 55,000 American stamp, rotated every six months.