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DÍA DEL SELLO.- El Cartero

  • Issue date: 01/09/2005
  • Printing Process: Offset
  • Paper: Autoadhesivo fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (vertical)
  • Sheet effects: 20
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,28 €
  • Print run: 7.500.000

They travel through our villages and towns dressed in their blue and yellow uniforms. They are the postmen, main characters of this “Stamp Day” issue to whom we pay homage with this self-adhesive stamp issued on September 1st.


The origins of the job of the postman date back to 1756 with the creation of the Oficio de Cartero Mayor in Madrid and the appointment of the first twelve postmen for the post distribution in the twelve “neighbourhoods” into which the town was divided. The by-law established literacy as a requisite and also living in the area of distribution. It also authorised the collection of a quarter of a “real” for each letter delivered, and with this surcharge a fund was built up for the postmen’s pay. Unlike other employees of the treasury, postmen were not civil servants and did not receive payment from the Exchequer, something that has not changad in nearly 200 years. The rule established in Madrid became a model for other large cities and with the development of postal services, postmen began to acquire rights and obligations that were set down in the different regulations published in each province. In the Reglamento de Carteros of 1861 the “qualities” required to obtain the appointment are pointed out. It also stipulates that five cents for each letter, brochure or newspaper delivered to a home were to be charged. The payments were weekly. These conditions did not change until the second Republic when postmen became civil servants and began to receive payment from the Exchequer. The job of postman, always held by men, was extended to women after the Constitution was passed in Parliament. In 1979 with the Ley de Cuerpos de Correos y Telecomunicaciones it was established that all Spaniards, independent of their sex, could be part of the staff of the institution, amongst which are the postmen, who at that time became known as Auxiliares de Clasificacion y Reparto. Currently, there are over 34,000 and their figure remains emblematic and dear to people.

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