Stamp collection is the most popular hobby in the world. Yet, to some people it may seem like a waste of time, effort and money to accumulate a lot of “tiny bits of colored paper”, put them into albums and examine them with a magnifying glass for hours. Why then do millions collect stamps, not only in their childhood but throughout their lives, and why is the hobby of collecting drawing millions to take it up?
Stamps have often been described as "the visiting cards of nations" In many ways they reflect the history of their countries, convey the sensation of travel to far away places, depict strange landscapes, tell of the customs of many races. Many stamp designs portray famous people, inform of historical events and of the progress of science, and instruct about art and architecture.
President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, an enthusiastic, life-long collector, put it perhaps most clearly why stamp collecting is of particular value and interest “The best thing about stamp collection as a pursuit is that the enthusiasm aroused in youth increase as the years pass. Stamp collecting dispels boredom, broadens our knowledge of lands and peoples, and in innumerable ways enriches life and adds to its joy.
Those who have been ”bitten by the collecting bug” will certainly agree that their hobby is the most interesting for any man, women or child can take up. No other hobby. game or recreation including football and golf, can boast such huge legions of active amateurs.
No one can Say for certain when stamp collecting began. One thing is certain that within a few years after the first postage stamp, the “Penny Black” of Great Britain was issued in 1840, there were one already quite a few eager collectors, if is said that the craze may have started in a boys school in Paris, when one of the teachers encouraged his pupils to stick any foreign stamps they could obtain in their atlases, on the back of the map of each country, in order to render the study of geography more interesting. It has been growing ever since, until today the number of serious collectors in the world is estimated to exceed a few millions.
The best time to start collecting stamps is during school days. To children one would advise - now is the time to embark on a new adventure, for the enjoyment you get from stamps colleting can last a lifetime!