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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Barr-Fyke machine cancels

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Arno Forst (Rhinelander)
19 Sep 2008
11:25:06am
The Barr-Fyke Machine Co. of Kansas City, Mo., produced a small number of postmarking machines in use during the period from 1897-1900. One of my sources mentions a total of only 37 machines in use in the US. These were fast electric machines, which produced some of the most distinctive postmarks including cancellers with vertical bars and some varieties of flag cancellations with "tassel" (which are much, much rarer than the ubiquitous flag cancels produced by machines of the Boston based American Postal Machines Co.).

David asked for information on his specimen of a Barr-Fyke machine cancellation currently offered in our member auction: http://www.stamporama.com/cgi-bin/auction/auction.pl?category=covers&item=1222694001

I thought this information could be of general interest and I decided to post it here publicly. Here is an example of another postmark from this manufacturer from my collection.

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David Teisler (Teisler)
19 Sep 2008
01:15:54pm
re: Barr-Fyke machine cancels

Arno,

I am indeed indebted. Thank you for the explanation.

Interesting, too, that your example is within a year of my expample, and from the same city, but a close look shows that they are not the same city/date slug, as yours includes the DC ID at the bottom, whereas mine follows Wahington around the inner circumfurence.

Thanks again.

David

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Arno Forst (Rhinelander)
19 Sep 2008
02:56:07pm
re: Barr-Fyke machine cancels

Machine postmarks are one of my "weirder" interests in stamps. I need to dig through my cigar boxes of covers and can probably show one or two more examples. I also noticed that the arrangement of the "D.C." in your cancel is different from mine. What you have is nevertheless undoubtedly a cancellation from a Barr-Fyke machine. Obviously, there was some change over in the postmarking dial some time in 1899.

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butterflystamp
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Stamps show the culture and history of the world
27 Apr 2012
05:18:16am
re: Barr-Fyke machine cancels

Hi Arno Forst,
I am contacting you because your earlier email address was on my sender`s list.I am considering a stamp swap.Nice note on the Barr-Fytke machine cancellation.

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"Everyones needs and wants stamps."

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Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
27 Apr 2012
09:05:07am
re: Barr-Fyke machine cancels

Kiron,

My email address is up to date and available in the member section. As indicated there, I am currently not interested in trading. Did not have much luck with trading overall. -- I am sure you can find other trading partners here on Stamporama.

I have been able to find a few more Barr-Fyke cancellations over the last few years. Not all have the distinctive vertical bar killer design and cannot be distinguished from other manufacturers without reference books. The maximum number of machine used in the U.S. from the Barr-Fyke machine Co. of Kansas City, Mo. was never more than 35-40. A few machines were also sold to Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand, so there also is an international component. The total life span of these cancellations was less than a decade. Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, turn up quite frequently, but these cancels cannot easily be accumulated in quantity. So, whenever I see one in a dollar box, I pick it up, and in about 20 years I will actually have a collection. Happy

Arno

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