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Flats Cancel

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 10 / Views: 249Next Topic  
Bedrock Of The Community
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Australia
30800 Posts
Posted 12/04/2020   12:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add rod222 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I believe this is referred to as a "Flats" Postmark.
Any members advise how they are applied please?
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United States
146 Posts
Posted 12/05/2020   09:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DStamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Rod,

I'm surprised no one has commented yet.

This looks like the inkjet applied to most USA first class mail, but covering a larger area.

I have not noticed whether flats are usually done this way, the only flats I have around are from the APS (American Philatelic Society) and they are all hand cancelled by APS.

USPS recently changed vendors for the inkjet cancels, so maybe this is something new from the that vendor.

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Pillar Of The Community
3249 Posts
Posted 12/05/2020   09:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, spray technology, generally replacing the ugly "tire tracks" style.

They've been around since at least 2009:


And another fairly early one from 2012:


Both images cropped from full covers - yes, I save them whole.

Add: here is the definition of a "flat" from the April 1988 edition of Publication 32, "Glossary of Postal Terms", published by the USPS.
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Edited by John Becker - 12/05/2020 11:30 am
Bedrock Of The Community
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Posted 12/05/2020   12:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you gentlemen, appreciated.
My query centred around how these were produced.

In my mind, I see machine cancels, covers flowing along a line, STANDING VERTICALLY through a roller mechanism.

These "Flats" cannot do that, I suppose, so there must be another designed machine, where the print head lies above the advancer mechanism.

I was also intrigued how the wavy line, can impinge on the address
then I figured the machine must have 2 spray heads, 1 for the consistant wavy line pattern, and another for adjustable date / address.
I was just curious.

I think they look attractive on covers.


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Edited by rod222 - 12/05/2020 12:42 pm
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Posted 12/05/2020   12:41 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply




USPS images on flats handling
Don
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Bedrock Of The Community
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Australia
30800 Posts
Posted 12/05/2020   12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow!
Thanks Don......
Talk about "A picture is worth a thousand words"
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/05/2020   12:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod, To clarify something about canceling machines ... To our viewing, the machines place the cancel the same distance down from the top. This is easily achieved by the mail riding upright along the conveyor belts on its top edge and receiving the cancel the same distance up from the bottom. It's all done upside down!
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Edited by John Becker - 12/05/2020 12:57 pm
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Posted 12/05/2020   1:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah! had not considered that, but makes sense,
and proven by the three preceding cancels shown.
Thank you.
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Posted 12/05/2020   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And it's true going back more than 100 years on all successful high-speed machines - mail passes through the canceling machines upside down so the varying height of the stream of envelopes does not matter.

Yes, it is not obvious, but the 2009 St Louis cancel is on an 6"x9" envelope, and the 2012 South Bend cancel is on an 9"x12" envelope, but the canceling machine only "saw" what it needed to see.
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Edited by John Becker - 12/05/2020 1:20 pm
Valued Member
United States
10 Posts
Posted 12/18/2020   10:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coversRfun2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice images, John! As a collector of flats cancels I'd never noticed overlap before like the South Bend wave over end of facility id.
To clarify, esp for DStamp, flats or large envelope system is entirely separate from classic letter mail system (now contemporary with automated facers-cancellers and queuing into slots and so on). That recent change in inkjet cancels for the better is over in the letter system. Maker of the inkjet printers might be same now by coincidence.

Two more tidbits about the flats cancels, only U.S. cancels to have days of weeks names in cancel. And a lot of our flats here in the States don't get these cancels at all, arriving completely uncancelled.
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Valued Member
United States
79 Posts
Posted 12/18/2020   10:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add MrEd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for posting those machine pictures Don
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