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Y'know Who To Really Credit For This Hobby?

 
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Posted 05/01/2021   03:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add STTScott to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
True, the engraver is the stamp world's driver of art, but IMO there's really one single person that is the unsung hero on whose shoulders this hobby is largely built.

That person is whoever was running the perforating machine at the time. Because what is largely the driver of a stamp's collector and catalog values? Centering. And by the looks of things, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (and prior to that, concerns like American Banknote Co.) had stark-ravin' drunkards running their perf machines. (But OTOH, if every stamp ever put out was mathematically center-perfect, this hobby wouldn't be half of what it is, so the drunkards in the perf shop deserve our undying appreciation too, I suppose. Maybe even most of it. Ha!)

So when you see that GEM-100 worth an eye-popping sum even used or issued even in massive numbers, you know who to credit for that.

So thank you perf machine operators devoted (or maybe not so much devoted) to your craft. You are true American heroes.
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Edited by STTScott - 05/01/2021 03:21 am

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Posted 05/01/2021   03:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I know that centering is high on the list of factors and I get that. My beloved DLRs suffer immensely from average to poor centering, often due to how close the stamps are to each other on the plate.

For collectors of imperfs we must thank the PO staff who could cut in a straight line.

For postmark collectors, the joy of finding a clear strike is something else again!

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Posted 05/02/2021   11:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Who to thank for the hobby -----are you kidding-Totally wrong -----It was the dealers at the Paris Bourse who stuck pins thru stamps and place them on bulletin boards in the park for visitors to see and buy .


They are the first one's to put a value on a used stamp .Other than that it was someone who used stamps to wallpaper a room with PENNY BLACKS in London .
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Edited by floortrader - 05/02/2021 11:23 am
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Posted 05/02/2021   1:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add STTScott to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@floortrader: Thing is, stamp sellers do not stamp collectors make. If that was the case, our ranks would be expanded like mad every year over the past century at an astounding rate by the USPS' hiring office.

And back in those Paris days, ordinary folk typically collected by snipping stamps off their canceled mail, no? Disposable income back then wasn't what it is today for most factory workers and farmers, especially in the USA.
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Edited by STTScott - 05/02/2021 1:20 pm
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Posted 05/02/2021   8:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From all the photographs I've seen, the operators of stamp perforating machines were nearly all young women. Not sure why, but maybe it was considered on a level with telephone operator or other middle to lower-level service jobs.

And the machines they used to feed through long uncut sheets of stamps were more like large sewing machines with lots of hollow "needles" compared to the much more reliable, sophisticated and smoother operating machines we today.

Compare today's car factories with the car factories of the early 20th century. Today, robotic machines relaibly form panels and carry them to the cars to be welded onto the cars robotically. Result? Fairly perfect auto bodies. Back then? Some guy took a sheet of metal and using a hand-operated metal press, he pressed it into something resembling the shape of a fender. Then, he picked up his hammer, put the panel on top of a bag of sand and began to beat the panel into the correct shape. It's absolutely amazing auto body panels turned out as good as they did compared to today.

And you could do the same thing for eyeglasses, shoes, books (hand-made mostly back then), and most other things. That perforations ended up at all straight is kind of amazing given that some young lady was wrestling a large sheet of stamps through a machine that seemed to want to rip it to shreds and it came out the other end in good shape but with holes "pretty much" between most of the stamps. I'd guess they threw away the more catastrophic mistakes, so we end up with halfway decent perfs on most stamps. Except for a lot of the stamps in my collection where the perfs go right through the designs!

Have a look at some of the older perfing machines here for a job that took a lot of dexterity.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/sea...ges&fr=yfp-t
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Edited by DrewM - 05/02/2021 8:33 pm
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Posted 05/02/2021   8:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Because what is largely the driver of a stamp's collector and catalog values? Centering.

That's a very U.S.-centric view.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
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Posted 05/05/2021   1:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wkusau to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rowland Hill is my choice.
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Posted 05/05/2021   1:52 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That person is whoever was running the perforating machine at the time. Because what is largely the driver of a stamp's collector and catalog values? Centering. And by the looks of things, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (and prior to that, concerns like American Banknote Co.) had stark-ravin' drunkards running their perf machines. (But OTOH, if every stamp ever put out was mathematically center-perfect, this hobby wouldn't be half of what it is, so the drunkards in the perf shop deserve our undying appreciation too, I suppose. Maybe even most of it. Ha!)

So when you see that GEM-100 worth an eye-popping sum even used or issued even in massive numbers, you know who to credit for that.


If you feel centering is important, then the people you want to thank is Albert Einstein and Gustav Bucky. These two guys are the ones who invented the electric eye (in 1936) that was implemented by the US post office in 1938. The electric eye (in selvage areas) is what had the biggest impact on improving 'centering' and broke the dependency upon human feeding sheets straight. This technology supported greater tolerances marginal space and increased the speed of perforating.
Don
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Posted 05/05/2021   4:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I vote for Mr. or Ms. Anonymous who was the first person to convince someone else to save stamps.
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Posted 05/05/2021   4:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cai Lun who is widely considered to have "invented" paper as we know it.
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