When do we pay : before or after ?

Since ancient times, when a messenger brought a new, he was welcomed, fed and housed for the night. One was taking care of his mount for free, if he was not , as Philippidès, came running to Athens in 490 BC. of course.

Later, it became usual to give a kind of " tip " to the one who was " mandated " to bring a new, even if the word " tip ** " appeared only in the 18th century

Thus was probably born the use to pay for the receipt of a letter and not its dispatch.

Wanting to pay for sending a letter was then perceived as a total lack of manners : it offended its recipient implicitly meaning that he was not able to pay for receiving his mail. Noblesse oblige, regardless of nationality.

That certainly complex mixture of financial interest and self-esteem tinged with pride that made difficult the use of the first postage stamps in their emissions.

** BTW, did you know that " tip " comes from " To Insure Promptness ". One day in the 18th in England, a restaurateur settled on his desk a pot with inscriptions To Insure Promptness. This pot was designed to receive some pieces of pressed customers who wished to be served faster. So that TIP..

iDphi - AgCo
int. Dubois philately - Agence Collections