The Alexander Pavilion of Postal History and Philately presents the history of postage in the Land of Israel, against the backdrop of the historical, social, and political transformations that the region has experienced. It includes collections and items relating to the topic of postage in general and in the land of Israel in particular. The pavilion was founded on May 19, 1998 during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, as a joint initiative of the Israel Postal Authority, the Tel Aviv Foundation and MUZA, and was designed by the architect Zalman Einav.
The display opens on the lobby level with a historical gallery exhibiting the history of postage from the mid-nineteenth century, during the Ottoman period, through the British Mandate period, up to the establishment of the state and the issue of Doar Ivri (Hebrew Mail) stamps. The display features the different post offices active in the country, and includes envelopes, letters, postcards, seals, posters and photographs that illustrate the operation of the postal services.
At the center of the display is a mail truck from 1949, a red model F1 Ford bearing Israel Post’s running gazelle logo. This truck and others like it were used to deliver mail in the early days of Israel Post. Also on display is a collection of telephones used from the 1930s to the 1960s and the Goldschmidt Collection of Airmail of Eretz Israel.
Displayed on the mezzanine floor are mailboxes from different periods, a Morse machine, a teleprinter and field telephones, illustrating the usage of technological inventions for sending messages. Visitors can use a computerized display station to view a comprehensive collection of Israeli stamps and see for themselves the wide range of subjects, motifs on the stamps by different designers.
The most important and central exhibit in this section is a Planeta printing press that was used for printing the first series of stamps issued in the State of Israel, and before that for printing the “Haaretz” newspaper. This press was used for underground printing before the declaration of independence when the name of the soon-to-be-established country was still not known. The stamps printed on it were decorated with designs derived from ancient Hebrew coins, intended to express the connection between the Jewish people’s history and its rebirth.
On the ground floor is displayed the Zvi Alexander Collection, the most important of its kind on the topic of Israel’s postal history. The collection includes unique philatelic items and spans six centuries of history. Visitors have access to the Josef Jaglom library and the stamp exhibition wing, which includes historical collections and every stamp issued in Israel.