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US Imperforate Definitives: Reasons For Their Rise & Fall?

 
 
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Valued Member
United States
122 Posts
Posted 06/20/2019   10:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BFRomeos to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
After an admittedly half-hearted Goggle search, I found virtually no explanation for the advent and demise of imperforate definitives, like these:



Imperforates enjoyed a renoument of sorts during the first quarter of the 20th century, long after the virtues of perforation were evident. And aside from Farley's Follies (commemoratives), they disappeared without apparent reason prior to 1938.

I welcome comments from philatelic historians!


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133 Posts
Posted 06/20/2019   10:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They were used by large volume mailers (with various private perforation and affixing machines) until coils became mainstream, but that happened with the 3rd bureau issue. . .I'm also interested in why they issued them after coils became common.
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Posted 06/22/2019   12:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BFRomeos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Aside from Philazilla, no bites on this thread. So, taking a break from the nightmare of do-it-yourself basement waterproofing, I chose to google the term "private perforations." I was quite relieved with what was and was not returned. So, um, I gather that early 20th century imperforates were intended to meet certain commercial demand for custom configurations of postage stamps. But that conclusion is both vague and incomplete. As Philazilla points out, the USPS churned out imperforates long after the advent of coils and meter labels. StampSmarter's "private perforations" page adds terms like Attleboro, Brinkerhoff, and Schermack to my lexicon, but still there's no discussion of causes for the rise and fall of 20th century imperforate issues. Will post more here if and when I stumble across it.
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530 Posts
Posted 06/22/2019   12:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ciletaliph to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hold on a minute while I go find my pair of scissors.
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Posted 06/22/2019   12:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is a hard to find booklet, but is full of information;

United States Coil Issues 1906-38 by Martin A. Armstrong.

as is this one

Guide to United States Vending and Affixing Machine Perforations 1907-1927 by Steven Belasco.
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Valued Member
United States
122 Posts
Posted 06/22/2019   3:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BFRomeos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I appreciate the tips. My question is about imperforates-- I'll gladly peruse material about coils and vending machine perfs if they somehow explain the advent, use and decline of imperforates.
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Posted 06/22/2019   4:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
My question is about imperforates-- I'll gladly peruse material about coils and vending machine perfs if they somehow explain the advent, use and decline of imperforates.


The primary reason the USPO issued these as imperforates was for vending machine manufacturers and the like that wanted to create their own coils from the imperforate stamps, using their own perforating or dispensing machines. Private perfs are a well documented specialty area in early 20th century US philately, alub's references will tell you more about the wide variety of private coils that were created from these issues, as well as the reasons for the decline of private coils (short version: heavy competition drove a lot of the new companies making private perfs -- Brinkerhoff, Attleboro, etc. -- out of business, the bigger vending machine manufacturers that were left used USPO produced coils).
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481 Posts
Posted 06/22/2019   5:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Caper123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just guessing, but did they stop using imperforates when booklets were made available in vending machines? Obviously it's easier for end users to have perfs than carry scissors.
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Posted 06/22/2019   5:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Coils were for machines that stamped large mailings. Schermack lasted until the the 20's, but not much longer. They supplied stamps to bulk mailers. PO coils replaced them.
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Posted 06/22/2019   6:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Meters and permits did a lot to bury the private coils in the 1920s - probably even more so than government coils. Meter sales surpassed stamps by 1957.
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United States
122 Posts
Posted 06/22/2019   6:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BFRomeos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
NOW we're getting somewhere. Our discussion has revealed the purpose of early 20th century imperforates. I shall sleep much better tonight. So now the question evolves... How did so many manage to survive today in "unperforated" condition?
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Posted 06/22/2019   6:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most of the companies went out of business not long after they were issued, but the 1.5 cent and 2 cent in particular were issued in large quantities (third class rate and first class rate).
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Posted 06/22/2019   10:24 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The rise and fall of private perforations is documented on the United States Stamp Society web site by searching the "United States Specialist. Membership is required for full access. Makers of affixing machines and vending machines requested imperforate sheets for making coils needed by their machines. After the Bureau was able to produce rotary press coils, privately coil production declined but continued until low denomination sheet stamp production was converted from flat plat to rotatory press. Scott 631 rotary press sheets were found to be incompatible with private coil production. See Stamp Smarter "1 Harding Cat. # 631":

Quote:
This stamp was issued for the Mailometer Company but the gutters between the panes of stamps were 6mm wider than the gutters on the flat plate sheets, and these rotary sheets did not register properly in the Mailometer machines. Rather than retool their machines, all or nearly all of these sheets were returned. There are no genuine examples of this stamp with Schermack type III perforations known."



I have seen other articles on the topic recently.
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Edited by cfrphoto - 06/22/2019 10:30 pm
Valued Member
United States
122 Posts
Posted 06/25/2019   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BFRomeos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I created this thread, I was completely unaware that private perforation applications were the raison d'etre of imperforate USPS stamp issues. Now I know.

I'm still not sure why so many imperforate specimens survived without receiving the perforation treatment for which they were intended.
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Edited by BFRomeos - 06/25/2019 4:36 pm
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Posted 06/30/2019   10:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
As Philazilla points out, the USPS churned out imperforates long after the advent of coils and meter labels.


Small point perhaps, but it does flag a problem that needs a touch of redirection/correction:

Prior to 1971 there was no USPS. Up to then there was the POD (Post Office Department) and its initials were ubiquitous in official correspondence, circulars, collector parlance, and the public press. Here is part of the entry in wikipedia:

" The Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation. It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, and was transformed by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 into the United States Postal Service as an independent agency.["
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Posted 07/01/2019   09:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My opinion is that it is a USPS scam. MYSTIC was pushing them but I thankfully didn't bite. I just bought my last two Priority stamps from the post office. I say the last two because I plan to stop collecting USA as of 12/31/19. I just hate the way they churn out these stickers. Its all a scam by USPS.

Jack Kelley
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