Heinrich von Stephan

A commemorative postage stamp on Heinrich von Stephan (Founder of UPU) :

Issued by IndiaHeinrich von Stephan (Founder of UPU)

Issued on Apr 8, 1981

Issued for : Indian Posts & Telegraphs Department is privileged to issue a commemorative postage stamp in his honour.

Description of Designs : The stamp design consists of portrait of Heinrich Von Stephan alongwith the U.P.U. emblem.

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Watermark : No

Colour : BlueRed Brown

Denomination : 100 Paise

Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.75 cms.

Printing Size : 3.70 X 2.40 cms.

Perforation : 14½ x 14

Paper : P.G. Matt Coated

Stamps Printed : 1.5 Million in sheets of 40

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printers : India Security Press

Name : Heinrich von Stephan 

Born on Jan 7, 1831 at Slupsk, Pomerania [a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea], Poland

Died on Apr 8, 1897 at Berlin, Germany

About : 

  • Heinrich von Stephan was born on 7th January 1831 in Pomerania. After his schooling, he entered the Prussian postal service after his schooling, at the age of 17. He quickly passed through the various rungs of his chosen profession and soon found himself at Cologne, the metropolis of the Rhine provinces and the focus of postal services between GermanyWestern Europe and transmarine countries. From Cologne to the highest postal administrative body in Prussia in Berlin was the next step. In 1870, when the position of General Post Director (the head of the postal administration in Germany) fell vacant, Von Stephan was chosen to fill the post on the strength of his wide-ranging reputation and outstanding abilities.
  • After the Franco-German War, Von Stephan set himself to achieve the greatest task of his life, the setting up of the Universal Postal Union. As far back as 1869, the Government of North German Federation had entered into negotiations with the French Government for summoning a postal congress to discuss uniformity of postal relations among European states and the formation of a general postal union. It was not until Jul 1, 1873 that the German Government was able to lay the draft of a general postal convention prepared by Stephan before the Governments of Europe and at Washington. On Sep 15, 1874 the Congress, with representatives of 22 states of both hemispheres, met in the old historic building of the National Senate in Berne (Switzerland). The Congress appointed Von Stephan the Chairman of the Commission set up to examine the draft conventions. Due to his initiative, diplomatic skill and intimate knowledge of postal matters, the General Postal Convention was signed within a short period of 24 days on Oct 9, 1874 and the ‘General Postal Union‘ came into existence.
  • Stephan now devoted his life to the extension of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as it came to be known later. His sole consideration was the unity of UPU. He used his eloquence, the warmth of his conviction and the force of his arguments to settle the disputes and to push into background insignificant objections and secondary matters. He passed away on 8 April 1897.
  • (Text by Courtesy of U.P.U.)

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