I happened to come across this document when web surfing the internet recently. Can anyone tell me if this means that such postmarks from Southington, CT are really precancels or is it one of those areas where there is really "no way to tell" since the same markings would likely have been used on other pieces of mail?
I believe these are the electro-plate the postmaster was speaking of, so his "allowance" was granted at some point these are one the Perf 12 1922 series, so one has to ask where was the device in 1935?
If I read the Postmaster's letter correctly, he indicated that he had the device in 1935, but Washington would not give him the required allowance needed to have the precancel professionally printed, so the alternative was to use the handstamps shown.
As I suggested earlier, it seems to me that the use of those "handstamps" may have effectively created a precancel that served the purposes needed for that year, but for precancel collectors there would be no way to identify if those "handstamps" were legitimately used as a precancel unless the example were collected on cover. In other words, an example of a stamp soaked off paper with the above postmarks would be impossible to identify as a legitimate precancel. Probably the very reason why the PSS catalogs do not recognize it as a listed variety (or varieties).
Shame on me, I did read that the wrong way. Now I wonder why the PO lost it's "allowance" and resorted to a handstamp provincial, and I wonder if the precancels catalog Gods would use this letter to justify listing it as a legit precancel and not a provincial? Mike
The Gods [aka the gatekeepers] will not allow it in the PSS T&T catalog [aka the BIBLE]. One problem with it is that they were not used exclusively for precancelling - and that is usually the rationale for excluding these locally improvised cancellers. The fact that it EVER was used in a precancelling context is not sufficient.