EUROPA – The Postman Van stamps from Estonia

May 5th, 2013

For this year's EUROPA stamp issue dedicated to National Postman Vans Eesti Post issued two stamps featuring an old and a modern postal mean of transportation.

On Estonian and Livonian roads mail was carried on horseback until the middle of the 18th century. Constant growth in the carriage of mail and passengers caused the need that open-top carriages and covered wagons, called kibitkas, were taken into use. As roads were poor and the postal vehicles primitive, travelling by them was inconvenient. A new period in the carriage of passengers began in the 1820 to 1840s in connection with the introduction of stage coaches. According to the requirements a stage coach had to have iron axles, good appearance and built in accordance with drawings endorsed by the chief of the mail routes. One of the illustrations features a government stage coach dating from 1840 and the other a modern mail carriage vehicle. Today there are more than 350 mail carriage vehicles in Estonia, covering about 40,000 kilometres daily.