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United States/Covers & Postmarks : What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

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ConnieB
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29 Feb 2012
12:57:10pm

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brianbeekeeper suggested an interesting thread idea. So, here goes...

What do the different numbers in this type of cancel mean? How far do the numbers go?

I'd appreciate hearing

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dani20
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29 Feb 2012
02:55:04pm
re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

Dear Connie,
Not an answer to the question asked, but just a passing thought or two to add to the mix.
This is part of a Duplex cancel, and there are those collectors who collect the numbers as the collection-and enjoy getting a whole series of the numbers from 1 on. Just how far up it goes (your question) I'm not sure.
Absolutely no help at all, right?
All the best,
Dan C.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Feb 2012
03:11:39pm

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re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

I believe these are the windows within a station. Bigger the PO, higher the numbers

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
29 Feb 2012
04:57:12pm
re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

Following in the response from David, I would think that you need the rest of the cancel, just to show exactly which Post Office the stamp was cancelled. In some countries those numbers would actually signify exactly which city, or village/town the post office was located in and the numbers could literally be quite high, as in the hundreds. Not that I am an expert on cancellations, but just an observance from a long time collector.

Mike

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michael78651
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29 Feb 2012
05:27:26pm
re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

To be more precise, the cancel is contained of two parts:

- the "killer" is seen on the stamp. It is shaped like a football and can have a number or letter in the center
- the circular date stamp, which contains the date, city, etc.

It is positioned on the canceler so that the killer goes over the stamp and the CDS is to the left of the stamp. Post office procedure was for the killer to be applied over the stamp, not the CDS. Finding a CDS on the stamp, then is not as common as finding the killer. When the stamp is soaked off the cover, the CDS is lost.

The numbers are indeed collectible. They come in two styles:

- positive, meaning that the number is colored from the canceling ink, usually black, but other colors are found
- negative, meaning that the number is clear and outlined by the ink. These can be very scarce and be worth some money.

I have seen collections of these numeral cancels (you can find these also on the fancy cork cancels of the 19th and early 20th centuries). They are collected in many different ways from one single stamp showing the various numbers (from 1 and up, but the higher numbers are not that easy to find), to different stamps showing the numbers, both negative and positive. Makes for an interesting little topical.

The numbers generally relate to a postal clerk, and were meant to identify the clerk. However, after a while, most post offices just used the cancelers without regard to the number or which clerk was using them. So, you can't really attribute the cancel to any one clerk in particular unless you know for sure that a post office issued the cancelers one to each clerk. Without the full cancel, and much more information, it would be an almost impossible task.

I mentioned that letters can appear on the killer. For the life of me right now I am drawing a blank as to what they represented.

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cdj1122
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29 Feb 2012
10:15:15pm
re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

There was a time when the number which directly identified the cancelling device was supposed to (at least indirectly) identify the clerk it was issueds to but as mentioned, in good times that rule was more honor'd in the breach than the observance.
I also recall that at some post office years ago where all the canceling devices were essentially identical, the postmasrer cut small notches into the outer ring at different angles from the top so that when there was a complaint or suspicious activity, by checking which clerk that canceler had been, whatever they were investigating could be concluded.

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ConnieB
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01 Mar 2012
04:36:45pm

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re: What is the number in this cancellation. I want to know ...

Great information. Thank you!

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