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Resource Page for Collectors of Austria Stamps and Austria Postal History

In March 1772, Joseph Hardy started a local mail in Vienna. He collected and delivered mail within the capital at a charge of 2 Kreuzers, and outside the city limits for 3 Kreuzers.

The first postage stamps of the Austrian Empire were issued on 1 June 1850 featuring the coat of arms. At the time the Austro-Hungary Empire consisted of countries which are now Slovakia, Czech Republic, parts of northern Italy, parts of Ukraine, parts of southern Poland, parts of Rumania, some of the former Yugoslavia as well as Austria and Hungary. The first adhesive postage stamps were for use in the whole of the Empire, with the exception of the Italian territories of Lombardy and Venetia which were using a different currency.

On 6 April 1850 the Austro-German Postal Union agreement was concluded between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Prussia to take effect from 1 July 1850. The primary purpose of the agreement was to provide a uniform system of postal rates. By 1 June 1852 all the remaining German states joined the Union. It subsequently became the model for the creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874.

In 1851 Austria became the first country in the world to issue newspaper stamps which allowed the sending of newspapers and magazines at a reduced rate.

In 1866 Austria surrendered her Italian territories to the newly formed state of Italy.

On 18 February 1867 Emperor Franz Joseph announced that Hungary would have its own constitution and a separate government and so a Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary was established by a decree of 18 November 1868. An independent Hungarian Postal Administration began operating on 1 May 1867. Current Austrian stamps were withdrawn in Hungarian post offices on 31 May 1867. New Hungarian stamps were introduced on 1 June 1867. Austrian stamps were demonetized in Hungary on 15 June 1867.

In 1899 Austria changed its currency from 100 kreuzer in the gulden to 100 heller in the krone; new stamps and stationery were issued accordingly.

During World War 1 Austria occupied the southern part of Congress Poland. No special stamps were issued. Austrian field post offices were set up which used postmarks with Polish town names.

After World War I Austria was reduced to its current size and became a Republic in 1919.

The first items of postal stationery to be issued by Austria were envelopes in 1861, followed by postal cards in 1869 and then newspaper wrappers in 1872. Lettercards were first issued in 1886 and aerogrammes were first issued in 1952.

PHILATELIC SOCIETIES for Collectors of Austrian Stamps and Austria Postal History

austrian stamp

Austrian Philatelic Society (GB)

Austria Philatelic Society (USA)
Albert Hanson
PO BOX 83065, Portland, OR 97283-0065

NEW ISSUES of Austrian Stamps

Austria Post

Stamp Domain

Austria postal history snippets on Stamps Domain

Austrian Navy Fieldpost - SMS Leopard

Austrian Navy Fieldpost - SMS Novara

Austrian Navy Fieldpost - SMS Szigetvar

Selected pages from around the world about Austrian Stamps and Austrian Postal History

Emperor Francis Joseph 60th Anniversary
Emperor Francis Joseph I - 60th Anniversary of Accession

Austrian History, shown on stamps and covers
by Rick Aalhuizen
Rick has produced an excellent page outlining and illustrating, with numerous interesting scans, the Postal History of Austria from 1850 to the present day.

Austria - Postablagen and Posthilfsstellen cancellations - Part 1
by Andy Taylor
In the 19th century a need emerged to provide letter collection facilities in rural areas. Following trials, an official system of rural agencies was set up on 1 July 1900, and is still in operation, progressively integrated over the decades into the postal system...
Stamp Album - Austrian Stamps 1986 - 1996
The "Stamp Album" is a collection of all special-issue stamps released by the Austrian Postal and Telegraph Administration between 1986 and 1996.
The Austro-German Postal Union of 1850
Illustrated by a parcel letter sent in 1862
by J L Whiteside FRPS(L)

British Forgeries of the Stamps and Banknotes of the Central Powers<
by Herbert A. Friedman
During the course of the First World War, the British counterfeited eight stamps of three enemy nations. These were the 5, 10 and 25 heller stamps of Austria, the 5, 10 and 15-pfennig stamps of Bavaria, and the 10 and 15-pfennig stamps of Germany. It is assumed that these stamps were forged to be used to mail pro-Allied propaganda behind enemy lines.
Austro-Hungarian Military Post overprint oddities
from Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Austria FIS 1933 My Austria Collections
by Arnie Berkers

The official reprints of the 19th century stamps of Austria
by Andy Taylor
Any unused 1850s and newspaper stamps after the Mercuries that you are offered for sale are very likely to be reprints.

Pneumatic Mails of Vienna, Prague, and Karlsbad (1875-1938)
by Henry Hahn
The world's first postal stationery for pneumatic tube mail was issued by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy for the opening of the Vienna pneumatic service on 1 March 1875.
International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Austria
The first postage meter was placed into use in 1922. It was a machine locally manufactured by Mr Max Baum. The Baum machine was not able to adjust to the rapid inflation of 1922-23 and was in use for only a short time only.
Postage Stamps of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Lovrenc Košir and his Proposal for Stamps
from Stamp Domain

pages on Postal Stationery Newspaper Wrappers
Precanceled Austrian Wrappers
By Michael Hynes

Stanped to Order Newspaper Wrappers for Ars Medici
from Stamp Domain

Stamped to Order Newspaper Wrappers for Polizei Direktion in Wien
Zentral-Polizei-Blatt der k. k. Polizei-Direktion in Wien
from Stamp Domain

An Interesting piece of Postal Stationery
by Keith Brandon
"The partly pre-printed wrapper shown below caught my eye for my Trieste collection, but I did not really know what it was. It dates from 1913, and has a 3kr imprint, the correct rate for inland printed-matter up to 50g. The illustration shows the plane in which Blériot crossed the English Channel in 1909."

BOOKS on Austrian Stamps and Austrian Postal History

Handbook & Catalog of the Pre-Stamp Postmarks of Austria
by Edwin Mueller, 1960, 199 pp, published under the auspices of the Theodore E. Steinway Memorial Publication Fund by the Collectors Club, New York 
A classical work upon the Pre-Philatelic postmarks from Austria. There are two main parts: the Handbook., pages 5-100 and the Catalogue, pages 101-199

The Postal History of Austria 1938-1946
by Keith Tranmer, 1972 (reprinted 1974), 99pp
published by Austrian Stamp Club of Great Britain

Austro-Hungarian Army Post Offices 1914 -1918
by Keith Tranmer, pub by the author, 1973, 115pp

Checklist of the Town Cancellations of Bosnia & Herzegovina 1878-1918
by T.M. Gordon, 1973, circa 80 pp

Mauthausen Postal History of a Death Camp
by Keith Tranmer, pub by the author, 1977, 16pp

Cancellations of Hungarian Post Offices on Austrian Stamps
by G.S. Ryan, 1980

Poland Locals
by A Hall, pub by J Barefoot Ltd, 1981, 124pp
Overprints on German issues, Local overprints on German issues, Local Posts, Overprints on Austrian issues, Local overprints on Austrian issues, Local overprints on Russian & Ukrainian issues

The Slogan-Type Cancellations of Austria 1938-1945
by H G White, published by Austrian Stamp Club of Great Britain, 1988, 12pp

Censorship of the Civil Mails in Occupied Austria 1945-1953
by Richard A Krueger, published by the author, 1989 (3rd printing 1990), 210pp

Przemysl 1914-1915
by Keith Tranmer, 1990, 32pp, published by Keith Tranmer
Background story and details of the flights to and from Przemysl during the siege of 1914-15

Poland 1918 Locals
by J. Barefoot, 1999
The local posts from about 1915 to about 1919, the stamps, stationery and postmarks with valuations and a forgery guide

The Sieges of Przemysl
by Keith Tranmer
Keith spent 40 years researching this subject. He assembled a very impressive collection of covers, photos of pilots and planes, maps and other ephemera. He has developed a deep understanding of the key players, senior officers, pilots, observers, quartermasters, drivers etc on the Austrian side during the 2 sieges - it was only the second siege when mail was actually flown out.

Austria: An Air Mail Digest
by N C Baldwin, published 1965, 16pp
Air mail developments in Austria 1912 to 1963

DALMATIA - The Austro-Hungarian Postmark Project Volume 1
by Brumby

Local Provisionals in South Tyrol & Bozen after WW1
by Guillo

A Post Hapsburg Index (present & former names of post towns)
by Davis

Cancellations of Austria & Lombardy-Venetia 1850-1864
(Eng/Ger.), by Muller

Image of an austrian Stamp recently sold at auction. WIPA 1933