Indonesia Postal History

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Folded letter from Krawang (1849) to Batavia with Ongefrankeerd Krawang in red and manuscript 20 sen as tariff. (courtesy of http://www.postalhistory.org)

 

What is Postal History?

There are any number of precise and intimidating definitions of postal history. While these are all technically correct, in many ways they miss the wider aspects of hobby.

In a word, postal history is about mail. All over the world almost everyone receives mail. This mail, where it is from, where it is going, how it is paid, how it got to its destination and tribulations it faced in its journey is postal history. It speaks of the time  and place it was mailed, the way it traveled and the scars it picked up along the way.

Since mail touches almost every person, postal history touches almost every interest. If your interest is in a place, perhaps your home town, the country of your ancestors or your favorite vacation spot, postal history will enhance that interest. If transportation  is a passion, the movement of mail encompassed most modes of transport. Mail was the first mover in the development of some air travel and significant in utilizing rail network. Most every significant event of the last 250 years can be traced in the mail. Since every army provides mail for its soldiers, if the military is important to you, then postal history is intertwined.

Mail is a window to the past and a mirror of the present. Postal history opens that window wide and focuses the mirror. It tells us about ourselves, our ancestors, our nation and our world. The simple journey of a letter can be the start of a personal journey to wonders of the world.

The Indonesian Postal History began when Governor General of Netherland Indies, G.W. Baron van Imhoff officially open the first post office in Batavia at August 26, 1746.