QUEEN VICTORIA COIL TESTERS:
Considered the first coil dispensing machine tester, the Queen Victoria 1d red tester pair was sent to Dickie and Brown for testing in dispensing machines.
R.J. Dickie a Wellington (NZ) mail clerk, first proposed coil vending of stamps in 1905. In association with local engineers J.H. Brown and N. Andrews, he devised a successful coin operated stamp dispenser which, in association with Kermode Co (UK) was remodelled in October 1907 and used to test Victorian rolls of invalidated coils consigned to New Zealand by the Australian PMG Department.
These stamps were overprinted with two 4.5mm black thick horizontal bars and used as trial labels; thus becoming Australia's first coil testing strips. The two barred QV coil pairs were part of the original strips that were sent to Dickie and Brown.
The Postmaster General's Department in Australia got the Stamp Printer in Melbourne to overprint 500 sheets of the Victoria 1d "Naish" design stamps, overprinting the stamps with the double bars to deface them voiding the stamps from being postally used.
Robert James Dickie was born in London in 1876 and immigrated with his family to Wellington, New Zealand when he was 12. At 15 in 1891 Dickie joined the staff of the Chief Post Office at Customs Street West in the Auckland CBD.
It was here in 1905 at age 29 he sought the assistance of Wellington photographer and draughtsman J.H. Brown who made accurate drawings from Dickie's ideas. Later both men enlisted engineer W. Andrews to build the first model. Dickie, Brown and Andrews were the patentees of the vending machine.
Dickie sought the assistance of Wellington photographer and draughtsman JH Brown who made accurate drawings from Dickie's ideas. Later they enlisted engineer W Andrews to build the first model. Dickie, Brown and Andrews were the first patentees of the vending machine.KING GEORGE VI & QUEEN ELIZABETH:
For testing and adjusting coil vending machines, the Note Printing Branch prepared a special plate of coil testers. The stamp design was a simple horizontally-lined recess-printed blank.
The first printing was made in 1937 in red, but from 1938 the colour was changed to green (Red – King George VI and Green – Queen Elizabeth). Both testers show the uniformly large holes perforation and are on Multiple Crown and C of A watermark paper; the perforation of both testers is Die I and perforation 13½ x 14.
Strips exist showing joins every 10th stamp or every 20th stamps. Only 960 coils were produced with the coil starter. These coils were introduced about October 1941. A single 1938 2d stamp in mauve shows a coil perforation. QUEEN ELIZABETH II:
Coil of 960 with special large and small holes perforation were first placed on sale at the same time as sheet stamps on June 30, 1965. These coils were made up from ordinary sheets and showed joins after every 10th stamp.
Coils were only made up from sheets printed with helecon in pink ink. The starter strip used was the same as that for the 1959 5d coil, with printing in blue on white reading "960 5d STAMPS/VALUE £20", and additionally inscribed in manuscript in red. A total of 540 coils of 960 (=518,400 stamps) were distributed by the Note Printing Branch.
A photogravure coil starter was prepared for testing machines. This has a plain black background with P.M.G./DEPT." in two lines in white letters, and is found in two shades, the other shade is grey-black (not yet part of the collection).