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Posted 04/03/2020   07:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A new question relating to my research on the Victory, VT postmarks.

Were there any conventions or procedures on how to apply the postmarks?

I'm specifically curious as to whether it was normal practice to reink the handstamp for each cancellation, or whether multiple covers might be handstamped at a time before reinking?

If the latter, I suppose that could account for variations in how sharp or dark particular postmarks are, correct?

I also assume that there are going to be variations in postmarks due to variations in the force applied when inking the handstamp, the force applied when striking the cover, and the angle at which the handstamp strikes the cover. Are these reasonable or plausible assumptions?

TIA.
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Posted 04/03/2020   07:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, all of the above and then some. Add to your list if a cover being cancelled is individually laid out on the counter to be marked or is on top of several other covers being marked. There are many minor differences in the final mark on a cover day in and day out depending upon the "environment" and "procedure" used in its application.
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Posted 04/03/2020   08:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey, that's a good point.

Thanks.
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Posted 04/03/2020   11:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some context:



I am trying to decide between two hypotheses: (1) these two covers were struck with the same device, vs. (2) they were struck with different devices.

I am assuming: they were struck with genuine PO issued devices because the covers are signed by the Postmasters at the time they were postmarked (Story, in 1942, and Stanley, in 1945).

I lean toward the view that they are the same device.

I've drawn lines from the T in Victory and the T in VT, and from the V in Victory to the bottom of the third killer bar. In each case the first line skirts the right side of the 9 in the year and the left side of the M in the time stamp; the second line transects the year in approximately the same location, along the bottom of the upper portions of the 9 and 4; the variation in the 2 and the 5 can be attributed, I believe, to the fact that these are two different slugs.

Thus far, I think the evidence is consistent with this being the same device, rather than evidence of two devices.

But then there is the "flyspeck" just inside the circle of the CDS and just above the line running from V to the bottom of the 3rd killer bar. I presume this to be an irregularity in the surface of the CDS that picks up and deposits ink. And I think it adds to the likelihood that the same device was used to strike both covers.

Below the covers is an image in which I have overlain the postmark on the top (Story) cover with the postmark on the bottom (Stanley) cover, reversing the colors of the bottom postmark to provide contrast. The lettering around the inside of the circle does not line up because of a slight difference in angle at which the handstamps were struck relative to the top edge of the cover. But if the circle is perfectly round then this angular offset should affect the way the circles appear.

It has been suggested that the thinner and sharper appearance of the circle and the lettering of the top circle is evidence proving that these are strikes from different devices.

But it looks to me like the differences could be explained by variations in the amount of ink picked up and deposited when the covers were struck. In the top cover, there is a light area in the circle under the VT. This is probably a combination of a depression the circle of the CDS at that point, as well as less ink being picked up and deposited, because it appears that while the circle is more fully filled in under the VT in the bottom cover, it looks like same depression in the circle is present under the VT because the areas of the circle to either side (e.g. the 7 and 5 o'clock position) are thicker and appear to be more uniformly inked than the area directly beneath the VT. The difference in the "flyspeck" also seems to reflect picking up and depositing more ink in the bottom example, as well as what we see in the R of VICTORY. I think there is also a variation in the surface of the CDS that picks up ink above the period after VT but is barely if at all present in the bottom cover so I didn't point it out. But I see it often in other Victory, VT covers. In any case, these differences that can be attributed to variations in inking seem to me to be more consistent with a single device being used than two different devices.

I am not trying to prove a particular theory, I am just trying determine which best supported by the evidence.

Thoughts an opinions are not just welcomed, but invite. And if you see evidence more consistent the hypothesis of two devices, point it out, please.
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Edited by blcjr - 04/03/2020 2:20 pm
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Posted 04/03/2020   2:47 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Basil,
If you rotate one of the 'T's so it is vertical and then draw a line it does not appear identical. (Drawing a straight line in a graphics app is easier if you keep it perfectly vertical or horizonal.) See below. This might be a better approach for looking at how the P or M is orientated.
Don





But I am unsure 'how close is close enough' with a rubber handstamp.
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Posted 04/03/2020   5:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Also compare the sizes (heights) of the letters and the proportions of their parts, especially the R and Y. If the rubber shrank, then the circle would be smaller too and it is not. Also note how the ends of the top and bottom bars are angled relative to the circle; different here without extremes in inking or handstamp pressure. The cancels look like they're from different devices to me.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 04/03/2020 5:04 pm
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Posted 04/03/2020   6:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

I'll see if I can replicate what you've one.

Hy-Brasil

I look into what you are pointing out as well.

But if we are looking at two different devices, why would the apparent irregularities--the "flyspeck" and the variation in inking beneath the VT be found in both. That strikes me as statistically unlikely.

One possibility that has been suggested is that fakes were created by using electrotype copying. This would account for the irregularities being the same, but not for what Don is seeing. If I understand what is being said, electrotype copies should show the same angle of rotation from horizontal of the postmark.

Basil
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Posted 04/03/2020   7:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I fail to see your "flyspecks". I see much more variation in studying several hundred registered covers with NYC clerk markings. For what it is worth department (as Paul Harvey would have said) I believe these two covers were postmarked with the same device.
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Posted 04/03/2020   8:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don, I wasn't able to match your results exactly, but what I got confirms your results:



So I decided to zoom in and overlay the two postmarks, rotating the Stanley one to line it up as close to the Story one as possible:



There is no way they are going to line up much if any closer than what I've shown.

So it does look like different devices is a strong possibility here, and I am okay with that. But I want to be sure there is no way to explain what we're seeing as the result of the same device being used three years apart.

Hy-Brasil, it doesn't look like the size of the letters are that much difference, and that any differences come from different degrees of ink, an possibly different usage over time.

Basil
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Posted 04/03/2020   8:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hoosierboy,

You posted while I was working on my latest post. Base on the latest post, would your opinion about the two postmarks being from the same device be the same? How would explain the "shadowing" when I try to line up the two postmarks in an overlay. Can a device change enough through usage over time to account for this?

I've got a couple hundred Victory, VT covers, an in scores of them I see the distortion just inside the CDS adjacent to the third killer bar. It varies in relative size, but the basic location is the same. It just looks to me like some irregularity on the base of the handstamp picking up varying levels of ink.

Thanks for the imput.

Is there another explanation for something that consistently appears in the same location like that?
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Posted 04/04/2020   07:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've got 1943 and 1944 covers signed by Ms. Stanley. I'm going to compare each of those to the 1942 Story cover. In this post, it will be the 1943 Stanley cover.




Just eyeballing the full covers, the postmarks look like they come from the same device. The letters are relatively the same degree of sharpness, they both have the "speck" and the area beneath VT. that picks up less ink. They line up as well as I think can be expected in the overlay.

Same device in 1943 as 1942?
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Posted 04/04/2020   08:00 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Basil,
If you interested, I can build an online Victory VT census database which would hold the images and information for each cover. Not only a good resource for the hobby, but it also might shake some unknown covers out of the woodwork.
Don
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Posted 04/04/2020   09:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good idea, Don. Let's do it.

And as I add more comparisons, if anyone thinks of a comparison they think would be helpful, let me know. For now, here's a 1944 Stanley cover compared to the 1942 Story cover.




To me, this 1944 cover still looks close enough to the 1942 cover to be the same device.

Next up, I am going to go through my covers to see if I can nail down a point where things change between Ms. Stanley's 1944 and 1945 covers. That will take a little while, and I'm not feeling my best today (mild fever, no other COVI-19 symptoms, but I'm sure I have a UTI, first time ever in my life, now I know what my late wife used to go through frequently, and also know how to treat it with AZO and if that does help over the weekend I will be calling my GP), so will probably be napping more than usual.
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Posted 04/04/2020   09:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Morning Basil and all,

Don, great idea, looking forward to seeing it.

Basil, the only differences my old eyes see is in the slug set for date and time which is to be expected. The USPO issued a new slug set for existing marking devices every year. I would expect to see some variance in these elements. Also, slugs were changed daily to reflect the current date.

They were small rubber or metal (can someone comment on which is appropriate for this type and era of four bar) parts that were not always set correctly in the devise. Postmasters were required to keep a log (sheet) showing the first strike each day from a device proving the date was changed, etc.
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Posted 04/04/2020   10:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hoosierboy,

Thanks for the insights. But what about the letters around the outer dial, V I C T O R Y, and VT.? In the image that compares the 1945 cover with the 1942 cover, which I'll show again here, the VT. does not line up well at all:



Assuming the same device, what would cause the VT. to shift like that?

I do see what I think is a widening of the outer circle that I think could be attributed to age, the rubber softening over time? But I cannot conceive of what would make the VT. move relative to the VICTORY along the outer dial. The VT. is not a slug like the date and time, is it?

What I wouldn't give to have the logs you write about!

Thanks.
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Posted 04/04/2020   3:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Basil, yep, rubber swells with age, but it does not swell proportionally resulting in the mismatch alignment you see in your examples. The 1945 example outer ring shows expansion with age. The lettering within is somewhat thicker due to rubber expansion. At least that is my thoughts.
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