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Antique American Stamp Machine Discussion

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Posted 02/12/2018   5:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I hope you didn't buy the machine that started this thread. In my opinion, it is overpriced by about 3x.

Here is another vending machine: A Schermack machine probably from the 1940s, although undated and no patent numbers on it.

Various exterior views:







Various interior views. The coin goes down the rectangular tube to the back of the machine where it acts as part of the mechanism allowing the knob on the front to be pulled fully forward by the customer and a stamp folder is dispensed, at which time the coin drops into a collection bin in the bottom of the machine.







The peanut-sized weight on the table goes on top of the stack of stamp folders to hold them down. The other one is on the near folder holder.

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Posted 02/12/2018   6:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RK1468 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Arrows2Atoms, love the deco look to the vending machine. Sets the stamps off nicely as well.
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Posted 02/12/2018   10:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed! That's a gorgeous machine.
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Posted 02/13/2018   08:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An interesting variety of machines.

Many thanks to John Becker for a view of the guts. We can see how that one works; pretty basic. The weights explain to me how the folders didn't always get jammed up inside; I've seen a few old machines similar to this and none still had them.
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Posted 02/13/2018   11:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add svensson to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
$125 overpriced? I don't know, fill it with your duplicates and take it to stamp shows and slowly recoup your money.
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Posted 02/13/2018   6:09 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampcrow - nope! Can't spend that type of cabbage right now... I wouldn't mind having one someday, though.
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Posted 11/17/2018   8:01 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Found a few more to share with interested folks:



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Posted 11/17/2018   8:02 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply




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Posted 11/17/2018   8:10 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Were people especially worried about unsanitary stamps? "sanitary folders" "protect your health!"
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Posted 11/17/2018   11:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Caper123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You had to lick them, remember?
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Posted 11/18/2018   3:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AJ Valente to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They would give you enough for postage, but also a useless 1-cent stamp or two in order to make-up the dime. (Oops, I dated myself.)
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Posted 11/20/2018   10:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BrettS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I found this stamp machine in an antique mall near Allentown, PA. The rate is obviously from 1999, but I think the machine is older (1980's?). It came with a set of keys, and has the lead weights in each of the "bins" to hold the stamp folders down. I have seen similar ones in other threads here on SCF.

Brett S.


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Posted 11/20/2018   2:31 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder... who actually OWNED these machines? The USPS or the store/vendor/building?
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Posted 11/20/2018   4:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not the USPS/USPO, although the "look" made it appear to be so. Note in the last picture, a vending machine company had their tag on the machine and those were the folks who owned and operated the machines. The soda, candy and cigarette vending machines are still typically run by companies with circuits of machines, sometimes as a franchise operation, sometimes not. So they pay some kind of rent for the machine floor space to building owners or businesses though I could see the small machines being just allowed to be installed, pitched as a traffic builder for small stores.

Note the machine with "sanitary folders", little foldover pieces of cardboard. Those were filled by hand, by someone who also had to break up the stamp sheets. So maybe not that sanitary. Even though some people thought the markup over face was exorbitant (and blamed the post office!), there was a lot of really cheap labor involved, but it needed to be labor that worked reasonably fast and knew how to count. Don't laugh at that; it's that bad nowadays.

I knew a stamp dealer who had a circuit of just stamp machines. The folder filler worked for stamps for his/her collection. The machines were an outlet for postage that was bought in the store at discount besides. And yes, there was a postage vending machine in their store that belonged to the dealer.

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Posted 11/21/2018   4:43 pm  Show Profile Check Nells250's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
AHA, so stamp machines were just like any other vending machine. Interesting... I remember the one that was right by the entrance to our local CVS Pharmacy. I was little and all I cared about were the levers, etc that I could play with. I was too young to know that there was a mark-up.

As for labor knowing how to count... we could have a great discussion on that but would probably be banned from the forum afterwards! :-) :-)
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