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United States/Covers & Postmarks : American Postal Machines Co. received markings

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Rhinelander
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16 Jul 2010
01:21:38am
Our auction quite often provides great discussion pieces. Today, I happily noticed an item posted by David, our auctioneer, for a cover with a curious received marking from Worcester, Mass. Here is the link to the auction: http://www.stamporama.com/auction/auction_main.php?action=40&id=RAPiChZyPWNzU

But for your convenience, here is the image I copied from it:

my picturedavid

I collect this style of received markings and was happy to see one that I don't have yet offered on our auction. As a group, these are not very rare, they can be found quite frequently on the back of correspondence from maybe 1898-1908, give or take.

Now, what exactly are these? Well, let's give the answer in a picture first. Do you note any similarities? --

my pictureflag

Well, once you put them side by side it is easy to see that the postmarking dial in David's received marking is the exact same as in the above Worcester, Mass., Mar 31, 1898 flag cancel. With this knowledge the explanation is easy, the unique 'duplex-style' received marking was impressed by an American Postal Supply Co. cancellation machine, famous for their trademark flag cancellations. When the machines were used for backstamping duty, the flag die could be exchanged for an oval containing the designation 'received.' The number '1' in the marking simply is the machine number -- incidentally the same machine '1' as shown above.

It is safe to say that not all post offices that used flag machines (in the thousands) did have special received dies. Flag cancels as received markings, or dial only (with flag removed) received markings outnumber the special oval received markings by far. There are still plenty of towns to collect. The real gems, when it comes to APMC service markings, are not the received markings, but these ones:

my picturetrain

my picturetrain1

It is hard to read. I have better ones, but thought it cute to choose a copy from Worcester, probably impressed by the self-same machine. The text is "Train Late -- Mail Delayed." Service markings with this text in lieu of the regular receipt markings are not common and real nice finds.

(Message edited by rhinelander on July 16, 2010)
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Rhinelander
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18 Jul 2010
08:00:28pm
re: American Postal Machines Co. received markings

The station received variety of above cancel looks like this:

my picturestation

It also is a fairly common style, particularily abundant from Boston and Philadelphia stations.

Not all received markings by APMC machines do have the distinctive oval form, however. Here are two examples from Utica, New York, and Shreveport, Lousiana. The postmarking dial with the split year-date gives the origin away quite easily -- once the eye is trained. Both of these are not very common styles at all.

my pictureutica

Finally, in addition to received markings, and the aforementioned train late cancels, APMC machines were also used for marking transit mail. All transit markings are fairly uncommon, except maybe the ones from Philadelphia:

my picturetransit

I remember, I picked up one of the Philadelphia transit markings on our auction from David as well. That was maybe a year or two ago. It was a pretty ugly cover, rougly opened and torn etc. Have since been able to replace with a better copy. Don't remember if it was the machine 2, which I am showing above, but remember well how happy I was about the addition at the time.

Arno

(Message edited by rhinelander on July 18, 2010)

(Message edited by rhinelander on July 21, 2010)

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Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
21 Jul 2010
10:13:14pm
re: American Postal Machines Co. received markings

Today offers me an opportunity to add to this thread once again. I picked up a lot of about twenty Pennsylvania covers today. I knew there would be some good ones among them (good in the sense of useful for my odd collections). Of course the true usefulness usually is not revelead until you get home and have your collection and reference books at hand. Well, I got really excited about these covers, because among other things, I noticed two unusual APMC service markings from Philadelphia:

my picturenew

These received markings were used at the Philadelphia main office and machine letters A to E exist. I had stored this information in my philatelic elephant memory. Letters in postmarks of this period tend to indicate stations. Philadelphia was one of the major cities that also had lettered stations. -- At least until 1902 when most had their names changed from letters to names - and all postmarks of the affected stations were changed accordingly. So it is not just that the style of the receipt marking is unique --no other city but Philadelphia used this style of marking -- but also the use of letters in the killer is quite unusual for a town that had lettered stations, and thus confusion could be caused.

If you take a look at the postmarks again, you will notice a difference compared to the ones shown so far in this thread -- the year is in a half circle at the bottom of the dial. This is the older style of APMC postmarking dials, prior to the introduction of the split-year dials. The Philadelphia received markings exist with both the older and newer dials, with the changeover occuring in 1897 (no, I did not have that in my elephant memory, but checked just now :-).

I knew I already had one copy of this cancel, maybe two, in my collection, but with ten collectible varieties (letters A, B, C, D, and E times two dial types), I felt real good about the purchase. Well, here you go, that's what was in my collection already:

my pictureold

GEEZ. -- So much for an elephant memory. ;) Well, I am not mad, there was still a whole bunch of other good (in fact, very good) stuff among these covers. And presenting these two here was also kind of fun.


(Message edited by rhinelander on July 21, 2010)

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