First Issues Timelines
 

This is a new initiative, started June 2004, in parallel with the Guinness pages to document the development of the various stamp issuing entities. This will be long, slow work. Here are my first few tries:

Great Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands

North America - Canada, United States and Dependencies

Germany

Malaysia

Africa

Links to maps on every page would be useful, but I have not yet found a copyright-free source. The CIA World Factbook site is a good source of information on current geography with a drop-down menu on this page. A friend in FICC has drawn my attention to useful the philatelic atlas at Sandafayre which provides a historical perspective. Sandafayre's maps (and text) are straight out of the Rossiter and Flower Stamp Atlas which is my primary reference source.

Please write to me here if you spot any mistakes - I'm sure there will be some.

Sources:

The Stamp Atlas, Rossiter and Flower, 1986
Gibbons Commonwealth and Empire 1840-1952, 2004
The Dictionary of Stamps, James Mackay, 1973