Royal Mail's The World of Invention stamp issue comprises of six self-adhesive stamps featuring landmarks in engineering and technology. Each of the inventions is illustrated in by Guardian cartoonist Peter Till in his own whimsical style with formatting and typography by Peter Willberg. On the backing paper a description of each invention is printed.
Thomas Telford was the engineering genius who built the roads, bridges, canals and docks without which the industrial revolution could not have happened. Now 250 years after his birth, Royal Mail celebrates the work of engineers and inventors who have changed our lives through technology.
On the miniature sheet the stamps are as above. The border features an original patent drawing of a cathode coupled pair by Alan Dower Blumlein.
To commemorate the birth of Thomas Telford in Westerkirk, Scotland 250 years ago, Royal Mail is also issuing a Prestige Stamp Book. The book has been written by TV science pundit Adam Hart-Davis who in his own inimitable style takes us on a journey from the building of Roman roads to the Moon landings. The book designed by Russell Warren-Fisher also contains four unique stamp panes. Fittingly one of the panes contains mixed Welsh and Scottish definitive stamps, celebrating the Scots engineer who connected Anglesey to the rest of Wales, as shown below.
Stamps. The format & typography is by Peter Willberg,
with illustrations by Peter Gill. The self-adhesive stamps are 32x30mm,
and are printed in gravure by De La Rue Security Printers. The backing
paper of the stamps is printed with information about the subjects of
The Miniature sheet is conventionally gummed and printed in gravure by De La Rue.
The panes in the Prestige Stamp Book are all conventionally gummed and printed by De La Rue in gravure:
Pane 1: Country stamps, Scotland 2nd class and Wales 44p on a map of the Menai Straits;
Pane 2: Machin definitives 5p & 1st class standard PIP surrounding a label depicting Sir Rowland Hill, the background showing a Queen Victoria 1d red stamp;
Pane 3: Invention stamps: 1st railway, 64p television, 64p telephone, 1st bridge, with an early television screen in the background;
Pane 4: Invention stamps: 1st bridge, 72p space travel, 72p internet, 1st railway, on a background commemorating the Telstar satellite.
Note, pane descriptions are in the book order, which is not the order Royal Mail showed them!
All images except FDCs are Copyright Royal Mail 2006/07.
We have produced exclusive limited edition covers for the set, the miniature sheet and the prestige stamp book panes.
Our FDC for set of 6 stamps shows four Inventions from Norfolk, and
is available with a choice of postmarks depicting Tim Berners-Lee who
is credited with
inventing the World Wide Web by you can see this page; or Alexander
Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone without which the internet would
The covers are priced at £8.95 each.
The miniature sheet FDC shows Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct,
Sinclair's ZX81 computer, and a steel-ribbed umbrella devised by Samuel
available only with the Thomas Telford postmark, price £8.95.
The cover used for all four prestige stamp book panes (see above)
shows Telford's suspension bridge at Conwy in north Wales.
We have used a different appropriate postmark on each pane and the set is priced at £18.50.
Mint miniature sheet
Prestige Stamp Book
Set or MS on Royal Mail FDC
Set of 7 Stamp Cards unused
While the stamps delivered to post offices and sent to collectors
come from sheets in which the backing paper is rouletted (perforated in
slits), those in the presentation pack have been separated by
conventional guillotining, resulting in straight edges. In any other
circumstance we would refer to such a variation as 'imperforate'.
These stamps are only available in the packs.
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown below - these may not be to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.
| Ref FD709
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
| Ref FD710
Pont Menai/Menai Bridge Official Postmark
| Ref FD710NP
Pont Menai/Menai Bridge non-pictorial Postmark
| Ref M10407
Telford Way, Birmingham
| Ref M10408
A Great British Invention, Sir Frank Whittle's Jet Engine, Cranwell Sleaford
| Ref L10404
Concorde, Design Icon of the 20th century, Heathrow, Hounslow
| Ref L10403
World of Invention, Cogges, Whitney
| Ref L10402
World of Invention Anniversaries, Post Office Way, London SE8
| Ref L10419
World of Invention, Stampex, London N1
| Ref N10427
Stephenson's Rocket, Home of the 1829 Locomotive Trials, Rainhill, Merseyside
| Ref M10425
Sir Rowland Hill, Kidderminster
| Ref N10426
George Stephenson, Wylam
| Ref L10417
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, London SW14
| Ref L10416
Bletchley Park Post Office Milton Keynes computer punch-card
| Ref W10435
The Mumbles Railay Horse Drawn Steam Locomotive Tram, Swansea (variable date)
| Ref S10429
Thomas Telford, Langholm
| Ref S10430
John Logie Baird, Helensburgh
| Ref S10431
Alexander Graham Bell, Edinburgh
| Ref M10424
New Invention, Willenhall
| Ref L10418
Spring Stampex, London N1 as above, but dates 1st March
If you have any questions about these stamps please email
NB: all emails will be acknowledged in 1-2 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please email us from a different address (eg hotmail, gmail).
This page updated 23 May 2007
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