Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Algerian Postal History

Algeria, located in North Africa, was under French control from the 1830s until independence in 1962.

Early postal history

The beginning date for postal history in Algeria is unclear, but letters sent by Europeans in Algiers go back to 1690. Oran was controlled by Spain during much of the 18th century, and a postal marking is known from 1749.
Regular postal service came in with the French rule in Algeria, initially as a military post established in 1830 in Algiers, which was then opened to civilians in 1835, but still using military handstamps until 1839, after which datestamps with town names became standard. The service expanded into the interior along with French control, with 295 post offices in operation by 1880.

First stamps

Algerian mail used stamps of France beginning 1 January 1849. Early cancellations were a simple grill similar to French usage, but after 1852 the service switched to a lozenge of dots surrounding a number identifying the post office.

Twentieth century

Beginning in 1924, French stamps were overprinted "ALGÉRIE", eventually to total some 32 types over the next couple years. These were superseded in 1926 by the first stamps inscribed for Algeria, the series consisting of four typographed designs showing local scenes, and ultimately consisting of 35 types, ranging from 1 centime to 20 francs. Algeria's first commemorative stamp, a 10-franc value depicting the Bay of Algiers, marked the 100th anniversary of French control. A new definitive series in 1936 again depicted local scenery, using eight engraved designs for 31 values.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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