10 June 2013 - Postal vehicles (European stamps)

In Norway the development of the postal service has always gone hand in hand with technical advances in communications – and often with the postal service leading the way.

NK 1849
NK 1850

In 1827 two steamships were procured for the account of the postal administration in order to improve the mail delivery service along the coast and to other countries. With the purchase of “Constitutionen” and “Prinds Carl”, Norway Post became Norway’s first steamship owner.

Steamships revolutionized traffic (and mail deliveries) along the coast and the railway did the same for inland Norway. The first railway line was opened between Christiania and Eidsvold in 1854.The Railway Act of 1848 had stipulated that the mail was to be carried by train and that the post offices were to be located at the railway stations.The widespread expansion of the rail network in the following decades had immense significance for postal communication. Special carriages were used, enabling the mail to be sorted and distributed en route.

A motor vehicle was used for the first time to transport mail in 1913 on the newly established route between Otta and Åndalsnes. In 1917, the Storting granted funds for the purchase of a fleet of motor vehicles for postal use and in the late 1920s motorcycles were also purchased.

Motorcycles proved to be a dangerous workplace, especially in winter, and were phased out and replaced by four-wheeled vehicles around 1937. At that time 80% of the mail was being transported by motor vehicles. Horse-drawn transport had been reduced to 7%. In 1920 the mail got wings, when the first official air service was opened on the Horten – Oslo – Arendal – Kristansand route. Norway Post was a modest participant at first but, as the number of air services increased, a new epoch dawned for mail transport in Norway.

The theme for this stamp issue is Postal Vehicles. The subjects are a 1932 Harley-Davidson (now in the Post Museum in Lillehammer) and a brand new Ford Connect Electric. Norway Post first invested in electric vehicles (Think) in 1994 and has since built up a considerable fleet of them. Starting in 2012, it has also purchased a number of vehicles that run on biogas and natural gas. Norway Post continues to lead the way, now as an eco-friendly enterprise.

NK 1849-1850
Date of issue: 10 June 2013
Values and subjects:
Kr 13.00: Harley-Davidson Motorcycle (1932)
Kr 15.00: Ford Transit Connect Electric
Photo: © Norwegian Post Museum (NK 1849)
© Norway Post (NK 1850)
Design: Madeleine M. Karlstrøm
Method of printing: Offset
Printing house: Joh. Enschedé Security Print