The Austrian Newspaper Post

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This exhibit shows the Newspaper Postage Stamps of Austria, including shade variations, cancellations, perforations, private imprints, and type differences; and examples of them in use. Frame 1 covers the 1851, 1858, and 1861 issues; frames 2 the 1863 and 1867 issues; frame 3 the 1880, 1899 and 1908 issues; frame 4 the 1908 continued and the 1916 issues; and frame 5 the 1919, 1920 and 1922 issues.

Austria issued special stamps for the postage of officially-registered newspapers for over 70 years, from 1 January 1851 to 28 February 1922. They were sold only to the newspaper publishers, for them to prepay a discounted inland postage rate. The special rate was per-copy, including without weight limits (until 1916) all the supplements so beloved by Austrian newspapers. The system was evolved to facilitate postal subscriptions via the Post Office.

These reduced-rate newspaper stamps were supplied only to designated post offices, where the publishers could obtain them: but only in whole sheets and only for cash. Furthermore the newspapers had to be posted with all those addressed to a specific delivery post office in one bundle, with a paper outer bearing the name of that post office. The cancellation of the stamps on the newspapers was done after the bundle was opened at the delivery post office; many of the cancellers were not used on ordinary mail. Single newspapers could be handed in unbundled, and had their stamp cancelled by the originating post office. From 1900, publishers could commission private wrappers for one or more copies, imprinted with the same design as the loose stamps but in different colours. Separate Newspaper Sections were attached to the post offices in the large towns, to handle newspapers and magazines, to accept subscriptions, and to sell the discounted stamps.

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General References.