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Algeria Stamps and Algeria Postal History

Algeria Flag


The earliest known letters from Algeria are from about 1690. The earliest known postal marking are from 1749. The French established a Military Post in Algiers in 1830 but it was not until 1835 that the post was available to the civilian population. In 1830 the European population in Algeria was about 600.

The first French language newspaper, L'Echo d'Oran, was established by Pierre Lafonton on 12 October 1844

By 1881 there were over 320,000 Europeans in Algeria. The postal service was expanded such that by 1880 there were 295 post offices in Algeria,

At the same time as the first stamps were introduced in France these were also made availble in Algeria from 1 January 1849. Algeria was considered as part of France and the same type of handstamps were issued in Algeria as in France. The earliest cancellations were a simple grille. In 1852 these were replaced in 1852 by the so called "petit chiffres" (small figures), a diamond shape of dots surrounding a number. Then in 1862 these were replaced by a new system, known as the "grand chiffres" (large figures), new numbers being allocated to all the post offices. These were in use till about 1876 when the numeral cancellations were replaced by circular date stamps incorporating the name of the post office.

In 1924 French stamps and postal stationery were overprinted "ALGÉRIE". From 1926 till 1958 stamps inscribed "ALGÉRIE" were printed for use in Algeria.

In 1940, following the armistice between France and Germany, Algeria continued to be governed by France. The allies first landed in North Africa on 8 November 1942. On 13 March 1943 the administration of Algeria came under the new French Committee of National Liberation (Le Comité Français de Libération Nationale).

Fezzan was captured by the Free French Forces of Chad in 1943 and used stamps of Algeria between 1943 and 1946.

From 22 July 1958 till 2 July 1962 French stamps were used in Algeria.

In February 1962 fifteen French stamps with an overprint "ALGERIE FRANCAISE" / "13 Mai 1958" were produced in Oran and put on sale. These overprints were produced by the OAS (Organisation Armee Secrete) who were opposed to Algerian independence and were in control of Oran at the time.

The Algerian War of Independence lasted from 1954 until 1962. When the war ended offically on 5 July 1962, Algerian postal authorities authorized the overprinting of five French stamps with bars, to obliterate the inscription "République Française", and the initials "E.A." - Etat Algérien, to identify them as Algerian stamps. Six offices were allowed to do this overprinting. Some were handstamped and some were printed.

The first stamps of independent Algeria were issued on 1 November 1962.

Philatelic Societies for Collectors of Algeria Stamps ans Algeria Postal History

France and Colonies Philatelic Society of Great Britain (UK)
The Society provides an extensive programme of meetings in several locations, holds an annual Philatelic Weekend, publishes a well regarded and authoritative Journal and series of monographs, and operates two thriving exchange packets and an auction. It is a friendly and informal group to which new members are always made most welcome.

The France & Colonies Philatelic Society (USA)
The France & Colonies Group was organized in 1941 by seventeen philatelists who were interested in the stamps and postal history of France and the French Community. It was incorporated in 1961 as the FRANCE AND COLONIES PHILATELIC SOCIETY, INC. Since then the membership has grown to more than 400 collectors throughout the American continent and overseas. The Society’s interest in French philately includes the Colonies, Offices Abroad, Monaco, Europa, Territories and New Independent Republics.
The link to the Society no longer works - is it still in existence?

L'Echo d'Oran - 1903

Algerian Newspaper L'Echo d'Oran 1903
As mentioned above, the newspaper L'Echo d'Oran was the first French Language newspaper to be established in Algeria. The illustration above shows a cut out from the front page of a March 1903 edition of this newspaper. It was common at the time to post newspapers by writing the address on the newspaper and adding stamps of the appropriate postage.

Selected Pages on Algerian Stamps and Algerian Postal History

Postage stamps and postal history of Algeria
from Wikipedia, the free encylopedia

List of people on stamps of Algeria
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a list of the people who have appeared on the postage stamps of Algeria (excluding overprinted French stamps). René Caillé, Charles Lavigerie and Henri Duveyrier were the first to appear on a set of stamps issued in 1939.

Algeria Newspaper Wrapper used 1890 Oran
French newspaper wrapper used in 1890 from Oran Karguentah

Algeria Newspaper Wrappers
from Stamp Domain
Up until 1924 French newspaper wrappers were used in Algeria. A total of 11 different newspaper wrappers were produced for use in Algeria between 1924 and 1943, four of these were by overprinting French newspaper wrappers and two by surcharging Algerian newspaper wrappers.

Algerian Post Office Numbers 1852 - 1876
from Stamp Domain
In 1852 by the so called "petit chiffres" (small figures), a diamond shape of dots surrounding a number were introduced. Then in 1862 these were replaced by a new system, known as the "grand chiffres" (large figures) and a reallocation of numbers.

DJCMH's Philatelic Blog - My Stamp Collection : ALGERIA
Algeria's philatelic history is intimately tied to its colonial relationship with France. In 1830, after a series of diplomatic incidents culminating in the ruler of Algiers, the Dey, swatting a French diplomat with a fly swatter, the French began an invasion of Algeria.

Philately of Algeria
A comprehensive site with images for all the stamps from Algeria

International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Algeria
The first meter marks in Algeria came into use in 1930.

Algerian Railways Parcel Stamps - Control Overprints
This article deals only with the pictorial designs of the Algerian Railways (Parcel Post) issues. There were five pictorial designs - Gare de Philippeville, Renault Railcar, Micheline Railcar in an Oasis, Viaduct and Gare de Bone.