11 Stamp Stories Worth Retelling by the mag – November 30, 2008 – 11:11 AM
By David A. Norris
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A Penny For Your Mischievous Thoughts
According to legend, Sir Rowland Hill got the idea for the Penny Postage program one day while watching a barmaid tearfully plead with a mailman. Unable to afford the shilling demanded for postage, she begged simply to hold the letter sent by her beloved brother. Hill then watched as the girl scanned the envelope intensely, as if trying to read its contents mentally. Touched, Hill coughed up a shilling and gave her the letter. The girl stopped crying, but instead of being grateful, she became nervous. After the postman left, she confessed that the letter was blank. Her brother’s message was contained in secret marks made on the envelope. Apparently, the two had devised a system whereby they could send each other messages through the post for free.
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Never hear that one. BUT, it certainly doesn’t surprise me. At all. If you can’t keep drugs out of prisons, don’t underestimate people’s ability to “game” the system.
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