One of the functions of the North German Confederation
was to handle the mail
and issue postage stamps
, which it began doing, by means of the North German Postal Union (Norddeutschen Postbezirks)
, on 1 January 1868.
To accommodate the different monetary systems
in use by the various states, it issued a series valued in groschen
for the Northern District, and another using kreuzer
for the Southern District, distinguishing them by framing the value number in a circle for the groschen stamps, and in an oval for the kreuzers. All of these stamps were inscribed "NORDDEUTSCHER POSTBEZIRK".
In addition, there was a special quarter-schilling
stamp for Hamburg
, with the additional inscription "STADTPOSTBRIEF HAMBURG".
Early in 1869 the stamps were issued with perforations
, the previous issues having been rouletted. On 1 March, 10 gr and 30 gr values were issued, notable for being printed on goldbeater's skin
, a scheme to prevent reuse of these high-value stamps.
Federation stamps were superseded on 1 January 1872 by the first issues of the German Empire
<gallery>File:NorthGermanConfederation-1Groschen.jpg|1868, Northern District, 1 GroschenFile:Stamp of North German Confederation.jpg|1868, Southern District, 7 Kreuzer</gallery>
The coverage of the North German Postal Union was described as follows:
- The federal territories comprise Prussia together with Lauenburg, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Saxe-Weimar, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg,......