After the Armistice was signed in Northern France on November 11, 1918, which essentially brought an end to fighting in the WWI, Lithuanians quickly formed their first government, adopted a provisional constitution, and started organizing basic administrative structures.
When the Postgebiet Ob.- Ost postal authorities proceeded to close their civilian post offices and refused to donate or sell any remaining stamp stocks, the Lithuanian Postal Authority (Pašto Valdyba) swiftly organized the printing of its own stamps.
The first Lithuanian postage stamps of 10 skatikų and 15 skatikų denominations were printed overnight either into the 26th or the 27th of December in the printing house of Martynas Kukta in Vilnius. These two stamp values initially were meant a continuation of the current Ob.-Ost rates of 10 Pfennig for postcards and 15 Pfennig for letters.
The First Vilnius Issue went on sale at the post office in Vilnius on December 27, 1918 and also immediately supplied to other re-opened major post offices in Kaunas and Gardinas (Grodno).
At the end of December 1918, the Second Vilnius Issue was printed, also at the printing house of Martynas Kukta, distinguished by thicker numerals. The first values so printed were 20 skatikų and 30 skatikų, followed by 40, 50, 10 and 15 skatikų.
A recently found German stamp catalog “Europa Katalog 1919” published in early 1919 by Hugo Michel (Weimar) gives a historical perspective – information about the new independent Lithuanian State spread rapidly, in all spheres of life, although the early correspondence with other countries was rather complicated.
A total of 768 stamps of different designs were issued by the Lithuanian Post between 1918 and 1940, with more than 2,000 variations due to errors, misprints and misperforations. The first airmail stamp was issued in 1921.