The Zenith of poster stamps was the years between 1890 and 1914. Diverse poster stamps were printed in their millions in both Europe and the US. It has been estimated that there were more than 250.000 different poster stamps printed just in Germany up to 1914. In 1913 more than 50.000 different poster stamps were produced in Germany. At the end of the First World War to a large extend they were replaced by “Zigarettenbilder” (cigarette cards). Nearly no product advertising was made between 1918 and 1945. Throughout the years up to 1945 the majority of the poster stamps were produced for exhibitions and events. The last important issues were from the 1960s.
Originally poster stamps were designed to be stuck onto letters, and their presence contributed to the sender’s publicity. Almost immediately, collecting poster stamps became a world wide phenomenon. Between 1900 and 1915 is evidence that were more collectors of poster stamps than of postage stamps. In 1910 in the USA there were more than 1.000 poster stamp collectors clubs
The appearance of Poster Stamps coincided with new Fine Art influences. Many were products of applied graphics. Liberty Style, Expressionism, Futurism, Art Deco or New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) influenced the poster stamp design. In many cases the poster stamps were reproductions of posters in small format.