Overview by Gordon Stimmell
The golden age of local stamps, the privately printed adhesives used by enterprising individuals to deliver mail within many U.S. cities, ran from 1842 to 1860. The largest companies with the most extensive emissions, were Bloods in Philadelphia and Husseys and Boyds in New York City. In the Scott catalogue, several categories are combined in one comprehensive listing under Local Stamps, including some express companies, the Independent Mails, school and institutional stamps and the classic local posts. Most firms did strictly private business not involving the Post Office, but others acted in a supplemental capacity, delivering mail to and from the Post Office, especially where such service did not exist, or was lacking in efficiency or manpower. The majority of local posts had a very short shelf life, with some Valentine posts lasting mere days. Local posts operated out of stationery stores, tobacconist shops, book stores and other merchants venues, as well as in express company buildings.