Artist unknown

Alexander Wulffert

Postmaster 1833–1855

Wulffert (1790–1855) was a journalist before accepting a position at the postal services. He was nominated for the post because he was politically reliable and he understood the nature of and the need for censorship. He also had the language skills required to be involved in the censorship of letters and newspapers. Wulffert's position was weaker than that of his predecessor. Wulffert paid particular attention to how mail was transported and recommended that four-wheeled carriages be used instead of two-wheeled carts, but this initiative did not take off. He also had artistic pursuits, and he took notice of the sound of the post horn. He thought that postmen should be offered music lessons.

Wulffert was born in Vyborg and studied in Tartu and Turku. He worked as a teacher from 1809, had a post in the Finnish State Secretary's office in 1823–25 and worked as a journalist from 1826 to 1833.

Postal History in Finland

  • Deliveries to other countries were poorly organised and expensive. Letters were privately carried by ships, but in 1835 transporting mail to Finland from abroad was banned in order to avoid losses in revenue from postage.
  • A steamer delivered post between Finland and Sweden for the first time in 1836.
  • Steamer deliveries improved. The postal services signed an agreement with a steamboat company regarding new delivery routes between Helsinki and Tallinn and between Turku and Stockholm.
  • Stamped envelopes and packages were introduced and the first letterboxes appeared in village and town centres in 1845.
  • A uniform rate for deliveries was tested in 1845–1850. The rate was no longer determined by both the weight and length of journey but by weight alone.
  • The system of peasant farmer carriers was abandoned and the new system with postmen was introduced (inns, posting houses) in 1846.
  • Deliveries to other countries improved. A postal agreement between Russia and Sweden in 1846. Postmarks now included the date in addition to the location.
  • More than 486,000 letters delivered, 0.18/person in 1845 (283,000 paid for, 202,000 free)
  • More than 885,000 letters delivered, 0.33/person in 1855 (558,000 paid for, 327,000 free)
  • 37 post offices in 1852.


  • Finland's first steamboat, Ilmarinen, was completed in 1833.
  • "The Kalevala" by Elias Lönnrot published in 1835.
  • The Finnish Meteorological Institute started operations in 1838.
  • Maamme, the Finnish national anthem, performed for the first time on 13 May 1848 at the students' spring celebration in Helsinki.
  • The stocks abolished as a form of punishment in 1848.
  • Plans to open railways for passenger transport in the 1850s.
  • Helsinki Cathedral, then known as St. Nicholas' Church, inaugurated in 1851.
  • Population 1.65 million in 1851.

Global Events

  • Russia ruled by autocrat Nicholas I, 1825–1855.
  • New liberal ruler in Russia: Alexander II in 1855 (–1880) -> the era of reforms.
  • The Crimean War 1853-1856 between Russia and Turkey, which later expanded as France and England declared war on Russia.
  • The British Empire abolished slavery in 1834.
  • The world's first postage stamp issued in England in 1840.
  • Samuel Morse patented the telegraph in 1837. The first systems were used in the 1840s.
  • The Marlboro brand of cigarettes introduced in England in 1847.
  • Europe's crazy year, 1848, saw a number of revolutions.
  • The first modern rules of football drawn up in 1848.
  • The first commercial ice cream factory opened in Baltimore in 1851.
  • Oil distillation method invented and production of oil products from crude oil started in 1852.
  • Louis Vuitton opened his first store in 1854.
  • David Livingstone was the first white person to visit Victoria Falls in 1855.