December 3, 1795: Rowland Hill, who invented the first adhesive postage stamp in 1840, was born.
Hill, an administrator and educator who was knighted in 1860, is primarily known for his development of the modern postal service. He was a champion of social reform who sought a single postage rate of one penny, paid in advance, for all standard-weight letters. This would make the mail accessible to almost everyone.
His brother, Edwin Hill, invented a prototype of the envelope-making machine that folded paper into envelopes quickly enough to match the pace of the growing demand for postage stamps.