Penny Black was world's first adhesive postage stamp. Britain issued the first adhesive postage stamp on 1st May 1840 and used as official on 6 May of same year (Although 6 May was the official date but postmasters started selling the stamps from 1 May). Before that wood was used for stamps. This invention also brings a new idea of pre-payment. Before 1840, the recipient of the mail has to pay for postage on delivery. But Mr. Rowland Hill idea reformed the British postal system. The Postage spamp had the image of Queen Victoria, the word "POSTAGE" appeared at the top of the stamp and the total cost of the stamp was one penny which was indicated at the bottom of it. The postage stamp was printed in black ink by Perkins Bacon.
Although the first adhesive postage stamp was used in Britain for the first time but the idea had at least been suggested earlier in Austria, Greece and Sweden. These "Penny Black" stamps were cancelled by red ink, which was hard to see and easy to remove. This makes it possible to re-use stamps after they had been cancelled. In 1841 the Penny Red came into the market in place of Penny Black and cancellation was performed by black ink which was much more effective as a cancellation and harder to remove.