The Penny Post - January 1840

The image of a flyer of the Penny Post Act enacted the January of 1840 by the Post Office.

Letter writing has always been an essential form of communication; although recent years, in this age of technology, have included new and improved forms of communication that are much faster and efficient. However, this has not diminished the importance of mail. 

Communication via letter-writing in the middle of the nineteenth century expanded and improved in various ways. With the introduction of the Penny Post in January of 1840, letter writing became less expensive with faster deliveries and more stationary products. Through this new influence, communication had been faster than ever, with same-day delivery on letters. A letter could also be a great look into someone’s life, including their socio-economic status. Certain stationary supplies could tell whether the writer had enough money to spare on better writing tools and paper. 

Letter writing in general, can be quite telling of someone’s status. As this Penny Post Act was mostly for the literate, which, considering this took place in the nineteenth century, could potentially mean that this was before the Emancipation Proclamation.  


Donovan, Susan. “How the Post Office and Postal Products Shaped Mid-Nineteenth-Century Letter-Writing.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. [Accessed 18 October 2020].

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. Jan 1840

Event Source: