The French General post evolved from the Royal post in the 16th century. An office is recorded in the capital as early as 1576. By 1700 the post was well organised and to make the calculation of rates somewhat easier the use of departure marks became the norm so that the distance a letter had travelled was quite clear. Paris used paid marks from around 1703, the earlier ones in the form of seal like devices without a town name. The display begins with the development of the General Post in the capital and continues with the private local post, La Petite Poste which opened in June 1760. France is a very centralised country, everything is run from Paris and the post office is no exception. A number of national services were housed at the head office and these are also covered – the Dead letter office, newspapers and printed matter.