The hobby of stamp collecting is called philately, and collectors are known as philatelists. Stamp collecting focuses on the collection of stamps used for postage, and some collectors also include the actual envelopes that carried the mail. Other collectible items include the markings and labels from postage meters.
Stamp collecting has been a hobby since the first use of issued stamps. The Penny Black was the first postage stamp issued and was produced in Britain in 1840.
The United States first issued postage stamps in 1847. Two stamps were issued, with the 5-cent stamp featuring Benjamin Franklin and the 10-cent postage featuring George Washington.