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US Meter Sleuth Wanted!

 
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Posted 07/02/2013   01:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add danstamps54 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently found this cover on eBay and it puzzles me.





The online International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog has it as an IB4. Pitney Bowes "DM." Nothing remarkable noted.

The blue UN emblem looks to be part of the meter. It is located where a slogan cancel usually is located. Again, nothing remarkable.

What puzzles me, is what was it made for? There is no value so it could be a proof. However, I lived in Fond du Lac during the 60's and early 70's and I'm pretty sure there was no UN presence!

More likely it is a sample or a souvenir cover from an exhibit or demonstration. But why isn't that noted somewhere on the cover? My experience is that such covers have a lot of information: event, organization, etc. It seems odd to me that the time and trouble would be taken to make a meter town mark. If my understanding is correct, this is where the meter was licensed.

I thought if I could find out who had the meter licensed, it might solve some questions.

The meter number is 436571. Collecting meter slogan cancels is a side collection for me so I don't have access to a lot of detailed information.

Any information or direction would be helpful!

Thanks in advance.

Dan
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Posted 07/02/2013   02:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can't answer your questions, but would note that the specific meter number and UN "We Believe" Slogan is documented as a Type U21 at the website link below. They show a 4-cent usage dated 10/24/1961, so we know the slogan cancel was probably used through that date (at least). The link below suggests that many companies may have used the UN logo while not necessarily having any specific connection to the UN. Actually, it's quite remarkable just how many UN-related postage meters are out there. (I had no idea!)

http://www.unpi.com/projects_un_in_...isting_U.asp

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Posted 07/02/2013   07:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Perhaps I am reaching for straws but what comes to mind for me is the FAO, Food and Agriculture Office of the UN. They have various projects throughout the world. It could be that they did a survey of farmers which required sending out survey forms. This type of office would not be a permanent presence, but simply for as long as the study was conducted. This might explain why the envelope has a UN logo on it.
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
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Posted 07/02/2013   08:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tomiseksj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This may solve the mystery:


Quote:
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.




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Posted 07/02/2013   10:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
OK. So it is a cover made by some organization to celebrate UN Day on October, 24. I never knew so many organizations used a UN-slogan meter.

WT1: That's a great website. Thanks! It definitely is getting bookmarked.

I did a sort of the database and there are four UN slogan meters that were used in Fond du Lac. None of the users are known.

Two technical questions:

Does the local PO keep records of old meters assigned? Maybe contacting them would solve four mysteries?

My meter has a 0.0 value and it is dated Oct. 24, 1960, one year earlier than the reported "Earliest Observed Date." It obviously wasn't "used" but would it count as an earlier observed date?

Great detective work everyone! Thanks!
Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
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Posted 07/02/2013   12:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As mentioned in an earlier post, October 24th is significant to the United Nations as it is "United Nations Day" each year:


Quote:
United Nations Day isn't solely an American holiday but a holiday celebrating all of the peoples that came together to form the United Nations. It was the United Nations General Assembly that established the holiday in 1948. The date set for the holiday is October 24th, the same day that the United Nations Charter was adopted in 1945.

There are also various learning institutions and international schools across the world that recognize and celebrate United Nations Day as a day to show pride in their cultural diversity.


Based on the above quote, I suspect a reasonable lead would suggest that a Fond du Lac school or college/university may have been the user of that postage meter. (I wonder if there was any Fond du Lac citizenry connected with the United Nations that would have connected the dots, so to speak?)

In any event, I very much doubt the USPS or Pitney Bowes would have Postage Meter Numbers, dating back more than a half century. I suspect that once a meter is "retired" and replaced with a newer model, all records on the old meter are destroyed along with the obsolete equipment.

Although it may be possible that some historical records do exist on these old postage meter users, in this day and age, I would imagine it would be a question of both privacy and protection to their business clientele that would result in the USPS and/or Pitney Bowes choosing not disclose any of this information to the general public, even if the data was readily available.

As to the final question about the $0.00 value meter imprint from October 24, 1960, I would think this would be a test only and not legitimately recognized by the philatelic community as a commemorative cover. Even today, any mail clerk could print hundreds or even thousands of any $0.00 valued meter imprints if they want to waste the time and money to do it. The fact that the covers are of zero monetary value for postage and therefore did not see any postal use, would render them worthless, or merely a curiosity at best, to most collectors. The meters that did register a value and legitimately went through the mailstream would, of course, be more desirable.

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Edited by wt1 - 07/02/2013 12:56 pm
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Posted 07/02/2013   4:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I suspect a reasonable lead would suggest that a Fond du Lac school or college/university may have been the user of that postage meter. (I wonder if there was any Fond du Lac citizenry connected with the United Nations that would have connected the dots, so to speak?)


Thank you for the follow-up. As a Wisconsin postmark and slogan meter collector, my experience is that, as a rule, these organizations had their ID in the corner. (Painful personal experience too. I remember bringing in the mail and seeing "Goodrich High School" in the return address corner and thinking, "This can't be good!"

Of course, that doesn't rule out a project/educational activity or demonstration in conjunction with the UN. They get envelopes with the red UN symbol on it and use their own meter to make a cover.

My contacts with the Fond du Lac philatelic community have long since disappeared. I suppose an email or two (They do have a local stamp club) might find someone who, as you say, can connect the dots. I initially thought there might be a database somewhere like the one the Meter Stamp Society has for earlier oval postal meters.

I was also curious if this "cover" would qualify as an "earliest observed, not earliest used date. I don't suspect it has any market value. I don't care about that; it's going in my collection -somewhere- and I'm hunting for information. I just wanted some thoughts to see if I should submit it to the website that you found. I guess an email to them with the pictures will tell the tale.

Thanks for your help and leads!

Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
I collect for enjoyment, not investment.
APS Member #223433
Postmark Collectors Club Member #6333
Meter Stamp Society Member #1409
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