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So What's With All Those Perf Varieties?

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 06/12/2019   5:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ikeyPikey to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Quote:
http://goscf.com/t/51092&whichpage=88#599105

... Victorian New Zealand is just crazy for perf ... varieties ...


This strikes me as odd ... not in the sense of doubting you, but in the sense of wondering "why"?

I can understand paper varieties; after all, the raw materials that ended-up in each batch of pulp would vary - with the species, with the seasons - as might the temperature in the vats, the pressure on the rollers, etc.

And, I can understand color/colour varieties (even in spelling!); after all, "make us another batch of red" neatly summarizes the requirement and, even if you gave the supplier a reddish target to match, the chemistry of each batch of bugs that made up that batch of carmine would vary, too.

And, I can understand these aggravating each other, as slight varieties of ink interacted with slight varieties of paper.

But what's with the perfs?

I saw a rotary perf plate on display at the National Postal Museum in DC last Monday, and it seems to me that the customer would settle on some size & density of the pins, and that would be that.

Okay, over the decades, they might experiment a bit, but the plates wear-out; so, there might be some overlaps (causing some varieties) as any one change propagated thru the population of plates but, eventually, that would be that.

R-i-g-h-t ?

Its not like The Ancients did not appreciate the value of standardization.

Clock accuracy was a big deal, especially for nautical navigation.

And, the metric system dates to the 1790s, never mind the shekel system.

Q/ So what's with the all those perf varieties?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey (who knows the answer from Evolutionary Biology, to wit: varieties persist in things that have little survival value, eg, do not really matter ... but we stampers know how much perf counts really, really matter, so that answer could hardly be correct)
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Edited by ikeyPikey - 06/12/2019 5:17 pm

Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 06/12/2019   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Always remember, perf varieties ONLY matter to collectors. When it came time to print stamps, especially in the 19th century the contract usually said print, gum and perforate X quantity of stamps. Perforating machines were relatively new, they didn't always work well, and the vast majority of the time no one really cared very much what the exact gauge was. Many were local printers. They used whatever was in any machine that was working. I'm speaking generally, not to any specific country or issue. Obviously the big major bank note companies were more careful and had at least somewhat better equipment and better controls. I suspect most perf varieties were caused by the need of the moment and whatever was available at the time.
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Posted 06/12/2019   7:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not caring and simply using the machine that was available was part of it, but there was also quite a bit of deliberate experimentation with perforations right into the 20th century, just to figure out what worked best. Perf 15 and perf 16 were fairly common measurements in the 1850s and 1860s, but those stamps were too easily separated and panes tended to fall apart with handling. A few early perforated stamps had the opposite problem, and were perf 7 or 8 and difficult to separate without repeated creases or scissors. There was also the question of hole perforation vs. rouletting; removing paper led to additional waste, so there were experiments in this area too.

Most printers settled somewhere between perf 10 and perf 14 for their stamps after a few years of production as a compromise between the extremes, but it wasn't long before the introduction of postage stamp vending machines and stamp booklets necessitated more innovation. Perf 12 or 13 works fine for sheet stamps but is less desirable for coils in vending machines; if the stamps separated inside the machine they could jam it or cause it to stop dispensing before the roll ran out. For that reason most early coils measured in the perf 7 to 11 range.
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Posted 06/12/2019   9:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For sure there was experimentation, but I suspect that there was more later on then earlier. Coils were a 20th century invention, for example. It did take a while for the idea of perforation machines to work out the bugs. It helped a lot if every stamp was one size. One of the reasons Butler & Carpenter had so many problems with the US revenue first issue perforations was due to there being 10 different sized stamps. That makes for a lot of readjustments.
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Posted 06/13/2019   01:16 am  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
put the ho;es too close together and the sheets tear apart too easily, put then too far apart and they are too hard to tear apart

in the early days, paper was more expensive, so they tried to squeeze the stamps close together, which required small perf holes, but it was hard to get the perfs centered in the narrow spaces, but as paper became cheaper, larger perf holes became possible
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Posted 06/13/2019   08:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Luckily perforating stamps is quite tricky -- otherwise we would be drowning in fake re-perfs.

I'm guessing the answer to the OP's question is quite complicated, as otherwise: 1) everyone would know it, 2) there wouldn't be so many perf. varieties.
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Posted 06/14/2019   01:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sorsh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
well, I can't answer for every country but I can enlighten you when it comes to danish stamps, on behalf of the danish bi coloured society :)

Thiele printing house started perforating stamps in 1864, their first machine was a comb perforator. Already in 1870 a new machine was introduced, a line perforator.
We're pretty sure this was used as a back up in times of need (high production) or as a sub while the other was repaired/replaced.

so the last prints of the "Crown and Scepter" in 1870 was perforated with the Line perforator. While the comb machine was either refitted or replaced by a new one.

then in 1870 the first bi coloured stamps arrived and the first print of 2 skilling and 4 skilling were printed in sheets with 2*100 stamps, which was cut to create A and B sheet.
and now comes the first time both machines were used at the same time as A sheet was comb perforated and B sheet line perforated.

and 48 skilling only line perforated (small stock).

all the way up through the bi colour stamps we've indentified 8 different machines and in some prints up to 3 different machines were used..

when the needles of the machines wear down they leave holes a little bigger than they used to, which also can confuse the gauges a little.

we're also quite sure that multiple sheets were perforated at the same time, and sometimes either from neglect or in need of time, too many sheets were perforated, leaving some sheets with smaller holes, or very irregular perforation.

because Thiele kept, and preserved, very detailed logs of their production we're 100% of the prints and also 100% sure about which perforating machines, and how many, were used. The rest is theory and guessing games.

hope this helps.
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Posted 06/14/2019   02:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add youpiao to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
when the needles of the machines wear down they leave holes a little bigger than they used to,which also can confuse the gauges a little.


Wouldn't worn pins make smaller holes than normal? Plus, the center to center spacing does not change with wear, so the gauge should not be affected.

Ted
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Posted 06/14/2019   02:35 am  Show Profile Check jogil's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jogil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It depends on the perforator.

For stroke perforators it would not affect the gauge but for rotary perforators it may.

Slight shortening of the pins means the diameter of the pin wheels would slightly decrease while the number of pins stays the same.

This would result in a slight increase change in gauge.

However, since rotary perforators worked with pin and hole wheel pairs, the diameter of the hole wheel would also need slight decrease adjusting in order for the rotary perforator to work smoothly with the pin wheel.

Thus, it may need new hole wheels to be made.

The distance between the bars holding and separating the wheels would have to be readjusted by slightly deceasing the distance between them.

Also, the wheel with the holes and the holes in them would usually wear more often than the wheel with the pins and the steel pins in them.

After considering all of these factors, it is not as simple as just sharpening the perforating pins and reducing the length of the pin wheel to change the gauge.

This would have to uniformly be applied to all of the paired perforator wheels together.

A different approach is that changes in gauge are mostly due to the different number pins and holes in perforating wheels of the same diameter on separate perforators.
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Edited by jogil - 06/14/2019 02:59 am
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Posted 06/14/2019   04:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tasnaki to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Tasmanian Pictorials present an interesting range of perforations.

The first printing was done in England by De La Rue and was perforated 14.

Later prints (from 1902 onwards) were done in Melbourne. These were line perforated either 12 or 11, there were two perforators used.

On occasion a check found a vertical or horizontal line missed, they were then returned to the printer before shipping and perforated by whichever machine was available, so we have a small number of stamps with a combination of perforation 11 and 12.

Some were missed and on arrival in Tasmania they were then perforated with the local machine at 11.8, so again a combination of perforations.

On occasion it was decided that a vertical or horizontal line was too close to the stamp so a second line of perforations was done. I have seen one with three lines of perforation!

Tasnaki
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Edited by Tasnaki - 06/14/2019 04:34 am
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Posted 06/14/2019   05:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The De La Rue stamps of New South Wales have a myriad of perforation varieties but they were certainly not created for philatelists. They were the machines on hand at the time, especially after 1880.

Hutson states "I have always regarded perforation as among the chief attractions in philately and, in this connection, I know of nothing to equal this group. A complete study of the perforation gauges is essential in acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of the history of these issues, their printings, shades and dates of issue. To those who spurn perforations, for various reasons, I can only offer my sympathy."

The last sentence always makes me smile
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Posted 06/14/2019   08:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This topic brings up the question of which country or issue has the most perf varieties.

I will start with early Austria for which it is easy to collect 10-12 sets of the same issue, all with different perf combinations.

And also Bosnia and Herzogovina - some of the issues have a different perf on each side of the stamp, and it's a big range, something like 7 to 12.
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Posted 06/15/2019   12:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Boxcar1954 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd have to check my album as to Bosnia Herz Coat of Arms perf varieties, but I do recall the Coleman census of just the BH Landscape series which found something like 2,250 perf/denomination unique combinations of the sixteen stamps in this issue. I have a few that are not in the census, so the actual number must be north of that. FYI, the compounds come in two perf measures per stamp, or three per stamp, commonly on adjacent sides, measuring imperf, 6.5, 9.25, 10.5 and 12.5. Perf 13.5 exists as a regular perf measure. Perf 5.5 exists with unclear origin, according to my research anyway.
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Posted 06/28/2019   1:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steevh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From what I've read the Bosnia Herzogovina were done specifically to amuse stamp collectors. I have some of those crazy perfs. -- one stamp can a have different gauge on all 4 sides, and they range anything from about 6 to 14, so they look quite ... contrived.

On the other hand, the Australia States and New Zealand were done without any view to the collecting market -- they just used whatever was available.
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Posted 06/28/2019   7:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
From what I've read the Bosnia Herzogovina were done specifically to amuse stamp collectors.


I've read this too.
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