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Quiz about The Penny Black
Quiz about The Penny Black

The Penny Black Trivia Quiz


Certainly one of the most famous of all postage stamps, the Penny Black has a lot of history behind it. Here is your chance to show what you know about this "piece of paper ... with a glutinous wash."

A multiple-choice quiz by collect. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
collect
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
221,058
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
704
Last 3 plays: GoodVibe (4/10), Guest 111 (3/10), Guest 80 (3/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Where was the Penny Black first issued? Hint

Australia
Cape of Good Hope
United States
Great Britain

2. When was the Penny Black stamp first valid for postage? Hint

May 6, 1840
January 1, 1840
January 1, 1837
May 8, 1840

3. Who is generally credited with the idea for the Penny Black? Hint

Rowland Hill
William Penn
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Peel

4. The Penny Black has a portrait of Queen Victoria on it. Who is responsible for this portrait? Hint

Hans Hals
William Wyon
Louis DaGuerre
Joshua Reynolds

5. What is the country name printed on the Penny Black? Hint

UK of GB and I
United Kingdom
none
Great Britain

6. What company was chosen to print the Penny Black? Hint

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Perkins, Bacon & Co.
Thomas de la Rue
Helio Courvoisier

7. After only a year, the Penny Black was changed. What was done to it? Hint

The stamp was lithographed.
The color was changed to red.
It was printed on chalky paper.
The price was changed to 3d.

8. One other tradition was started with the Penny Black and British postage stamps -- which lasted for quite a few years. What do you think it was? Hint

Ten sheets were given of each stamp to the British Museum
Each sheet was signed by the "Head Printer"
Each stamp on the sheet had different letters in the corners
Parliament had to give official approval to each design

9. How many stamps were in a full pane of Penny Black stamps? Hint

100
120
1000
240

10. When did Great Britain change Victoria's portrait from the one used in 1840? Hint

1890 (50th anniversary of the Penny Black)
1862 (Victoria's Silver Anniversary)
They never used a later portrait of Queen Victoria
1887 (Golden Jubillee)


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Where was the Penny Black first issued?

Answer: Great Britain

The very first country to issue adhesive postage stamps was Great Britain.
2. When was the Penny Black stamp first valid for postage?

Answer: May 6, 1840

The Penny Black was first issued on May 1, 1840 and became legal for use on May 6. Her sister stamp, the Twopenny Blue, was issued on May 8.
3. Who is generally credited with the idea for the Penny Black?

Answer: Rowland Hill

Rowland Hill first proposed the postage stamp to the Duncannon Commission on February 13, 1837. William IV was still King at the time, and had he survived, the first stamp might well have had his portrait!
4. The Penny Black has a portrait of Queen Victoria on it. Who is responsible for this portrait?

Answer: William Wyon

Willian Wyon was "Chief Engraver of Seals to the Queen" and his "City Medal of 1837" is the model for the portrait on the Penny Black.
5. What is the country name printed on the Penny Black?

Answer: none

As no other country had postage stamps, no one thought of placing the country name on the stamps! To this day, Great Britain stamps generally bear no country name.
6. What company was chosen to print the Penny Black?

Answer: Perkins, Bacon & Co.

Perkins Bacon was the primary printer for all UK and British Empire issues until 1861 -- when Mr. Bacon was found to have given copies of some stamps to friends, and thus lost most of its stamp printing business.
7. After only a year, the Penny Black was changed. What was done to it?

Answer: The color was changed to red.

Black cancellations on black stamps were not always obvious -- so the color was changed to red to make used stamps easy to see.
8. One other tradition was started with the Penny Black and British postage stamps -- which lasted for quite a few years. What do you think it was?

Answer: Each stamp on the sheet had different letters in the corners

Many collectors "plate" the Penny Black and Penny Red by using the "check letters" in the lower corners. Only with the 1880 issues was this tradition broken, though the 5 stamp of 1882 still had the check letters.
9. How many stamps were in a full pane of Penny Black stamps?

Answer: 240

With 240 pence to the pound, a pane of 240 stamps made a great deal of sense!
10. When did Great Britain change Victoria's portrait from the one used in 1840?

Answer: They never used a later portrait of Queen Victoria

Though many colonies used an image of an older Victoria, in Great Britain her image on postage stamps never aged.
Source: Author collect

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ozzz2002 before going online.
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May 05 2023 : GoodVibe: 4/10
Apr 25 2023 : Guest 111: 3/10
Apr 16 2023 : Guest 80: 3/10

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