Due to the expense of sending large numbers of newspapers and periodicals through the mails, publishers often utilized private express companies. In an attempt to get a share of this business, the Post Office Department lowered bulk newspaper rates in 1863. In 1865 the first Newspaper and Periodical stamps were issued for prepayment of the rate. The rate was further reduced a decade later to just two cents per pound for publications issued at least once a week. The rate was cut in half in 1885, to just one cent per pound. These rate reductions finally made sending newspapers and periodicals through the mail affordable.