This is one of a number of stamps issued by this country to publicize the hobby of stamp collecting. Stamp collecting reportedly began shortly after Great Britain issued the first postage stamp on May, 6, 1840. The first U.S. stamp was issued in 1847. By the 1860's, stamp collecting had become a very popular hobby. By the 1980's, more than 700 national entities had issued stamps. More than 475,000 different postage stamps have been issued, with between eight and 10,000 new issues released annually now.