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History of U.S. Postage Stamp Prices

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Prior to the middle of the 19th century, U.S. Post Office mailing rates were based on the number of sheets in a letter and the distance it was traveling. In 1845, rates were based on the weight of a letter and the distance it was going. Beginning in 1863, domestic letter rates became "uniform," that is, they were based solely on weight, regardless of distance. Benjamin Franklin was appointed as America's first Postmaster General in 1775. The first postage stamps were issued in 1847

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Inflation Calculator, the inflation-adjusted price of the 1919 2¢ stamp is 35¢ in 2023 (a 17.5x, or 1650% increase). It is actually 66¢ as of July 9th. That's a 33x (3200%) increase, nearly twice the rate of inflation.

Postage rates listed below are in cents.

Domestic Letters
Effective Date Per 
Ounce (¢)
Change (%)
from Previous
Additional
Ounce(s)
March 3, 1863 3     
March 3, 1883 2 -33  
July 1, 1885 2 0  
November 3, 1917 3 50  
July 1, 1919 2 -33  
July 6, 1932 3 50  
August 1, 1958 4 33  
January 7, 1963 5 25  
January 7, 1968 6 20  
May 16, 1971 8 33  
March 2, 1974 10 25  
September 14, 1975 10 0 9
December 31, 1975 13 30 11
May 29, 1978 15 15 13
March 22, 1981 18 20 17
November 1, 1981 20 11 17
February 17, 1985 22 10 17
April 3, 1988 25 14 20
February 3, 1991 29 16 23
January 1, 1995 32 10 23
January 10,1999 33 3 22
January 5, 2001 34 3 23
June 30, 2002 37 9 23
January 8, 2006 39 5 24
May 14, 2007 41 5 17
May 12, 2008 42 2 17
May 11, 2009 44 5 17
April 17, 2011 44 0 20
January 22, 2012 45 2 20
January 27, 2013  46 2 20
January 26, 2014  49 7 22
April 10, 2016   47 -4 21
January 22, 2017   49 4 21
January 21, 2018   50 2 21
January 27, 2019   55 10 15
August 29, 2021   58 5 20
July 10, 2022   60 3 24
January 22, 2023  63 5 24
July 9, 2023 66 5 24
 

Table from the U.S. Postal Service

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