Privately Printed Edition
HILL, Rowland. Post Office Reform; its Importance and Practicability. London: Privately printed, by W. Clowes and Sons , 1837.
Privately printed edition, (not to be confused with the trade edition of the same year). Octavo (7 7/8 x 5 inches; 200 x 127 mm). [2], 73, [1, blank] pp. We could only find one other copy at auction since 1980.

Rebound in full maroon morocco. Boards ruled in gilt. Boards decoratively tooled in black ink. Spine ruled in gilt. Black morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Some minor old ink marginalia. Housed in a custom quarter morocco clamshell. About fine.

"The penny post inaugurated and administered by Rowland Hill required the adoption of four novel principles: (1) prepayment of postage, (2) payment by weight instead of by the number of sheets, (3) the use of envelopes, (4) the use of adhesive stamps on letters. Prior to this reform, for example, the use of an envelope would have been a novelty to most letter-writers and entailed double postage... In December 1839 a uniform postage fee of fourpence was introduced. This period ended on 10 January 1840, after which date the minimum charge became one penny for a packet weighing not more than half an ounce and prepayment became compulsory, which meant the presentation of letters for franking at post offices. On 6 May 1840 covers and stamps were first issued, and the reform proved an immediate and brilliant success. In 1840 the number of letters posted totaled 169,000,000 more than double the number in 1839. Net revenue, however fell alarmingly and was not fully restored for thirty-five years. Hills idea that covers would be advisable- 'the little bags called envelopes'- to replace the wafered folded sheet formerly in use, also produced innumerable designs, the most acceptable being one designed by William Mulready. In practice, however, it was soon found that no special form of envelope was necessary. The first envelope with an embossed stamp was issued in 1841."

Printing and the Mind of Man 306.

HBS # 67989 $10,000