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Norway



FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 January 1855


CURRENCY

1855, 120 skilling = 1 speciedaler.

1877, 100 ore = 1 krone.



Kingdom of Scandinavia united with Sweden from 1814 until 1905. There were many changes in the alignment and dependence of the Scandinavian countries in the Middle Ages. Norway was united with Denmark and Sweden under Queen Margaret in 1389. Sweden and Norway separated from Denmark in 1448 but reunited again about two years later. Denmark and Norway separated from Sweden in 1513 and remained thus until the Napoleonic period.


In 1814, as a result of the support given to the allies by Marshal Bernadotte after he became Crown Prince, Norway was awarded to Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel. However, the Norwegians declared their independence and the Swedes had to exert their control by military occupation. Order was restored in 1815 and Norway became a province under the Swedish crown.


Norway's first postal service had begun in 1647, but this was little more than a means for the different parts of the country to report to the central government. However, after 1814 the postal service was reorganized independently of Denmark or Sweden. Christiana (Oslo) had been built in 1624 and it now became the postal centre. In the following years a number of postal routes were established; these linked all the parts of the country together and also allowed for entry into other European postal systems.


Postal markings were first introduced in 1845 when a cancellation was used at Christiana. These markings were extended to other towns during the next few years.


When stamps were first issued, a series of numeral cancellations were introduced to indicate the office of use. Numbers up to 383 are known over the next few years, and make a study in themselves.


1871-1914

In 1905 the union with Sweden was, dissolved and Norway became independent in October. King Haakon VII acceded to the throne on 18 November. At this time an early form of prepayment of letters by placing coins in a slot began at Christiana. This was successful and, although they were not used for mail overseas, it began a system which eventually led to meter mail being accepted by the UPU in 1922.


Norway remained neutral during World War I.


1919 to date

Norway maintained its neutrality and non-alignment during the period between the wars. Its postal service continued to develop on modern lines, a maritime coastal service was built up and an internal airmail service.


Despite the policy of neutrality, Norway was invaded by Germany early in April 1940 and a joint British and French force was sent to northern Norway. It was accompanied by Field POs. The Allied force was withdrawn in June 1940.


Stamps were issued during the German occupation, the first appearing on 4 October 1940. These were demonetized in May 1945 when the country was liberated.


The Norwegian government-in-exile in London issued stamps for use by the Norwegian navy and merchant service. They were also used in Jan Mayern Island, northern Norway, and from February 1945 at the Norwegian P0 in Stockholm. This same set was released in Norway after liberation in June 1945.


Since World War II Norway has been a member of NATO, but elected not to join the EEC in 1973.




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