The postal system of Norway dates from 1647, when the private company Postvesenet was established (now Posten Norge); it was primarily a way for various parts of the country to communicate with the central government. Although Norway was a part of Sweden from 1814 on, it organized an independent postal service, and gradually established routes throughout the country.
The first postal marking was a cancellation introduced at Oslo in 1845. The first postage stamp was issued in 1855, and depicted the Coat of arms of Norway. At the same time, numeral cancellations were used to indicate the post office using them, the numbers eventually reaching 383.
In 1871, Norway introduced its first stamp with a posthorn design; stamps of this type, with periodic redesigns, have been in use ever since.
When Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940, a British/French expeditionary force in northern Norway established field post offices that operated until withdrawal in June 1940. While the new collaborationist government in Norway issued its own stamps, the government-in-exile, based in London, issued stamps for the use of the Royal Norwegian Navy and the merchant marine. These stamps were also used in Jan Mayen island, and, from February 1945, in a Norwegian post office established in Stockholm.