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Are all US postage stamps now self-adhesive?
January 16, 2008 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Are all US postage stamps now self-adhesive?

For some time now, all the postage stamps I've purchased are self-adhesive. This leads me to wonder if ALL currently manufactured US postage stamps are now self adhesive. Do other countries still make stamps that require moisture for adhesion? Is this a world trend?

And how many calories are in self-adhesive stamps, anyway????
posted by Tube to Society & Culture (12 answers total)
 
Nope. Some are still "water activated". Just ask at the counter in your post office and they will show you a book of all the stamp types they currently have.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:21 PM on January 16, 2008


And how many calories are in self-adhesive stamps, anyway????

There are 0.1 calories in a U.S. postage stamp's adhesive.
posted by amyms at 7:26 PM on January 16, 2008


"And how many calories are in self-adhesive stamps, anyway????"

if they are "self adhesive" you don't need to lick them..and you certainly shouldn't eat them..so the answer is "0"
posted by HuronBob at 7:27 PM on January 16, 2008


Oh, you asked about calories in a self-adhesive stamp? You wouldn't be consuming any calories if it's self-adhesive. The calorie count (0.1) is for the kind you lick.
posted by amyms at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2008


Every time I buy make-up stamps (the 1-cent or 2-cent ones you can stick next to your leftover cheap stamps when they raise the postage rate), they're the kind that require moisture.
posted by vytae at 7:29 PM on January 16, 2008


No; I got lickable ones just the other day from one of the older coin-op machines. (It was one of those machines where it spits out individual stamps rather than selling whole booklets.)

As for the calorie angle, some Googling led me to this, which quotes one source at 1/10th of a cal, while another source says they're between 6-15. Unfortunately both are referenced from dead links. I suspect the higher figure basically assumes you eat all the adhesive, while the lower one seems more reasonable for a 'lick.'

Some folks on the Snopes message boards were discussing the calories in an envelope's adhesive, and in doing so turned up this Guardian article about UK stamps, which says a "single standard postage stamp contains 5.9 calories". However 'contain' doesn't really give you the per-lick calories consumed; at best it's a maximum, but I think the actual figure would be much lower.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:34 PM on January 16, 2008


"And how many calories are in self-adhesive stamps, anyway????"

I regret defiling the esteemed institution of AskMeFi with teh lulz...

Seriously, the term "water activated" is one I had not heard before, and I appreciate learning it.
posted by Tube at 8:11 PM on January 16, 2008


What about the old 'stamp and envelope glue made from rabbit urine' canard? Not true, right? Has it been properly debunked?
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:26 PM on January 16, 2008


Malaysia's stamps are "water-activated".
posted by divabat at 2:45 AM on January 17, 2008


France's stamps are "water-activated". It's kind of irritating having to lick stamps after so many years of the sticker variety. :(
posted by nonmerci at 7:48 AM on January 17, 2008


Many German stamps are still "water-activated", although self-adhesive ones are becoming more common.
posted by amf at 11:46 AM on January 17, 2008


What about the old 'stamp and envelope glue made from rabbit urine' canard? Not true, right? Has it been properly debunked?

The Guardian article states that British stamp adhesive is made from "polyvinyl alcohol and dextrin". This is consistent with what I've heard regarding US water-activated stamps as well. I think the closest commercial equivalent is Elmer's Glue. It's totally synthetic.

Not sure when they quit using horsehide glue. I'm pretty sure rabbit's urine was never involved; rendered hooves and hide from cattle and horses would probably be the most repugnant thing you'd find in it historically.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2008


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