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Posted Sep 24, 21 7:39 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Kaunas to Buffalo

That is an amazing cover, Lavar.

Posted Sep 24, 21 0:25 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWII Postal History

Reverse shown below.


Posted Sep 24, 21 0:24 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWII Postal History

Shown below is the front of a registered cover mailed from Kaunas (Kovno). Lithuania (Russia) to the United States. The cover is postmarked June 21, 1941, which is one day before the Germans launched operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia.

The first German troops, part of the 16th Army commanded by General Ernst Busch, entered Kaunas late in the afternoon of 24th June. As shown in the following post, the cover made its way to the United States, arriving on Oct. 27, 1941 in NYC, after being censored by both the British and the Germans.


Posted Sep 23, 21 15:36 by Tim Henninger (pälzer)

TH's Postmark

...thank you Steven, I will write it in my description now.



Posted Sep 22, 21 22:36 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Philatelic Show Reminder

Wish I could make it to Boxborough this weekend.

For those who like to buy off the rack, try to get there. 55 dealers listed on the show website, overall the most powerful complement I've seen at any US show in more than two years.

Posted Sep 22, 21 19:20 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Sir John Harvey

Hi David Snow - after my article was published a large group of Boston material turned-up on eBay, I think much of it was ex-Blake (or was it ex-Davis?).  Anyway, there were several Sir John Harvey covers - I now have 4 myself and I have seen several others. I believe I have the first Halifax to Boston sailing and the last non-contract Halifax to Boston sailing. 

Posted Sep 22, 21 17:35 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Steamer John Harvey

David Handelman, David D'Alessandris and John Barwis,

Well, I certainly came to the right place to have my questions answered about my cover and learn more about it. You gentlemen certainly know your subject. Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge. I particularly enjoyed reading your Chronicle article "The Steamer Sir John Harvey", David D'.  From your Table 1 it appears that my cover was carried on the second to last non-contract sailing of the ship from Boston to Halifax, departing Boston on Nov. 8, 1852, arriving Halifax Nov. 10.

Four days days after my cover arrived in Halifax you reported that Sir John Harvey went aground off Cape Cod (Nov. 14), but fortunately got off to arrive in Boston. Later she had a new propeller installed, just in time for the three sailings under contract.

Your article records (and illustrates) only two non-contract covers carried by the Sir John Harvey from Halifax to New York, both addressed to D.S. Kennedy in New York (like mine), both earlier dates than my example.  Excerpt from your article "Presumably, other covers exist, and it is hoped that the sailing data contained in this article will lead to the identification of other covers carried by the Sir John Harvey."   Happily, your hope has come true after all these years thanks to the proper identification of my cover. And the fortunate preservation of the D.S. Kennedy correspondence.

Add on: Mark Rogers: Thanks for sharing your maiden voyage cover of the steamer Sir John Harvey. A great item. Now four covers are known from the non-contract sailings of that ship from Halifax to Boston.  And thank you, David H., for sharing your 1840 quadruple rate letter from NY in your exhibit addressed to "His Excellency Major General Sir John Harvey K.C.B., Fredericton, New Brunswick" the namesake of the ship. The postage due of 7/4 cy was quite expensive.

Posted Sep 22, 21 17:05 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)

Sir John Harvey

This was taken on the return trip of the maiden voyage of the SJH. I take it, that this is the maiden trip since the steamship was pronounced as New, in the advertisement in David D's previously mentioned Chronicle article.

It left Halifax Jul 20, 1852, and arrived Boston July 22, 1852. those dates are from David D's article.

There are no contents here, but the reverse is clearly docketed: "Halifax 20 July 1852"


Posted Sep 22, 21 9:57 by David Handelman (davidh)

Sir John Harvey, again

And here is a cover to the man himself, Sir John Harvey, KCB etc, at the time Major-General, p 109 top, on Richard's site. From a Mr Featherstonehaugh (Fanshaw).

Posted Sep 22, 21 9:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

New reference book

Siegel's catalog for the Gordon Eubanks 1851 collection just arrived, a splendid addition to a philatelic library.

Posted Sep 22, 21 8:00 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Sir John Harvey

Sir John Harvey (504 tons, Capt. Miller) arrived at Melbourne from Sydney on 31 Oct 1853.

From then until at least August 1854 she ran back and forth between Melbourne and Sydney.

She eventually left Sydney on 20 Jun 1855 for England, arriving off the Isle of Wight on 28 Oct 1855.

Posted Sep 21, 21 18:59 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Sir John Harvey

Just catching-up on recent posts.  David Snow - I'm not aware of any covers prepaying the US incoming ship fee from Halifax (or anywhere in the Maritime Provinces) during this period.  There are a few covers known with US land postage prepaid, but I do not think US stamps were available at the post office in Halifax.

The Sir John Harvey is an interesting story and much of what was printed in Jephcott and MacDonald is at best incomplete.  I wrote this up in the Chronicle about 15 years ago -  The Sir John Harvey experiment didn't end because of a lack of mail, but because the ship's owners sent it to Australia.  In addition, the US and NS were negotiating a postal treaty but never came to agreement because the US wanted to include mail carried by the Cunard Line in the treaty while NS was without authority to agree to set rates for mail carried by a UK packet.  The Chronicle article reproduces the draft treaty which I do not think has been reproduced elsewhere.  I found it and the related correspondence in the Nova Scotia Provincial Archives in Halifax.  

Posted Sep 21, 21 17:56 by David Handelman (davidh)

The Sir John Harvey

David S: I was waiting for someone else to comment on your ship letter, but since no one has, it was endorsed by the sender "Per Steamer Sir John Harvey".

This refers to a short-lived experiment for sending letters by sea from Halifax to the US, by the Sir John Harvey. The fee was 6 d currency or 10¢ from anywhere in Nova Scotia to anywhere in the US (except the far west) [this agreed with the rate by land between BNA and US, except the far west]. A few of these covers were marked with the rare Nova Scotia scroll.

Unfortunately, your cover is too early for the service. It is dated 8 November (1852), and the experiment ran 3 December 1852--14 March 1853. It is estimated that only about 200 covers were carried over this period. The sender obviously was aware of the service, but was premature. And it was charged the usual incoming ship letter fee + US internal rate.

For more information, see page pp 183--4 of "The Nova Scotia Post" by JJ MacDonald (this has a slightly updated description in the classic "Postal History of NS and NB" by Jephcott, Greene, and Young, which is almost unobtainable). MacDonald's book was remaindered, so should be readily available.

Posted Sep 21, 21 16:06 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

TH's Postmark

Looks like 'New York' (City).

Posted Sep 21, 21 15:44 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Postal History Article

The October 2021 issue of The American Philatelist, now on-line at the website, features my article, "Collecting Postal Cards, Post Cards, and Postcards as Postal History."

Posted Sep 21, 21 15:34 by Tim Henninger (pälzer)


Is it possible to identify the cancellation attached ?



Posted Sep 20, 21 22:22 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Transatlantic Telegraph

Gordon Eubanks,

Thank you for the recommendation for the book. Here is a review:

Today, in a world in which news flashes around the globe in an instant, time lags are inconceivable. In the mid-nineteenth century, communication between the United States and Europe -- the center of world affairs -- was only as quick as the fastest ship could cross the Atlantic, making the United States isolated and vulnerable.

But in 1866, the Old and New Worlds were united by the successful laying of a cable across the Atlantic. John Steele Gordon's book chronicles this extraordinary achievement -- the brainchild of American businessman Cyrus Field and one of the greatest engineering feats of the nineteenth century. An epic struggle, it required a decade of effort, numerous failed attempts, millions of dollars in capital, a near disaster at sea, the overcoming of seemingly insurmountable technological problems, and uncommon physical, financial, and intellectual courage. Bringing to life an overlooked story in the annals of technology, John Steele Gordon sheds fascinating new light on this American saga that literally changed the world.


Posted Sep 20, 21 17:14 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)


There is an excellent book on the history of the transatlantic telegraph: A Thread Across the Ocean written by John Steele Gordon. This is one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century.

Posted Sep 20, 21 15:56 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Nova Scotia Telegraph history

Ken Lawrence,

Thank you for the very useful information. Link here.  Looking at a map with the cities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that you mentioned, I can see that an all-land route telegraph line was used connecting Halifax with the U.S., as Nova Scotia is a peninsula connected with New Brunswick by the Isthmus of Chignecto (narrowest point 24 km wide). Thus no underwater telegraph cable was needed to connect with the mainland.  Also, I found a Timeline of North American Telegraphy.  On 27 June 1846 a commercial telegraph line was established between Boston and New York. And in November 1849 telegraph lines reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, as you had mentioned, thus ending the short-lived Nova Scotia Pony Express.


Posted Sep 20, 21 14:44 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Nova Scotia telegraph history

from Google search:

Nova Scotia's Telegraphs, Landlines And Cables by David Graham Whidden A history of telegraphs in Nova Scotia, originally published in 1938 in the Wolfville Acadian

On 15 November 1849, an Associated Press news item was telegraphed from Halifax to Amherst and on to Saint John and thence to Boston and New York. On 11 August 1852, telegraph communication was completed between Halifax and Sydney...

Posted Sep 20, 21 13:22 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Ship rate prepayment question and other stuff

I have just added this Cover ID 29178 to PhilaMercury census.

Reading Blake (p115) I learned that the private ship letter rate effective  July 1, 1851, for unpaid incoming ship letters was 7c for the first half ounce up to 3000 miles. If prepaid was 5c, which was an incentive to prepay. I guess this included mail from Havana or St. Thomas and other ports in the Caribbean Sea.

Do any covers exist from Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1851 to 1863 with 5c U.S. postage affixed prepaying the 5c rate? Were U.S. postage stamps even available for sale at the Halifax post office during that time for customers wishing to prepay mail to the U.S.? Or perhaps could a sender prepay in cash?

Finally, reading the letter I just posted there is a reference to replying by telegraph. That surprised me since I can find no record of a submarine telegraph cable linking Halifax and New York as early as 1852.  On the other side of the Atlantic the first successful undersea telegraph cable was laid in Sept. 1851 across the English Channel, linking Great Britain with France. Followed in 1853 by successful cables laid linking Great Britain with Ireland, Belgium, the Netherland and Denmark.  See link here. But for the history of early submarine telegraph cables linking the U.S. with the Maritime provinces of Canada I can find no information online. Thank you in advance for any comments.


Posted Sep 19, 21 10:00 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Merry Chase


First I want to say that I enjoy your postal history blog very much. Very well written with excellent philatelic content. I always learn something new.


Posted Sep 19, 21 8:59 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Merry Chase

This week we get to take a "merry chase" on Postal History Sunday.
Have a good day all!

Posted Sep 19, 21 8:18 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Under or over, left or right, perforated or imperforate, on flat-plate W-F coils the end of the strip is the 20th stamp.

Posted Sep 18, 21 20:08 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Vertical Paste-Ups

Ken, my question is this. Yes, the tab is at the bottom, but is it connected and the perforations intact? What I see is the tab is at the bottom, but it is pasted underneath the stamp instead of being attached like my second diagram. If it is pasted underneath then doesn't that mean the tab was attached at one point to a stamp from the top of the strip that was pasted together? This would be the usual paste-up found for vertical coils. I have attached a picture of the pair and a diagram. On the 316 pair the top stamp has a tab attached at the bottom and the second stamp is pasted over the tab. This would be the other type of construction I was talking about that is not the usual type found. Something to think about.


Posted Sep 18, 21 13:45 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)


When looked at this way, it looks like a bandit running with a bag of booty trailing behind (to the left when the stamp is viewed upside-down).


Posted Sep 18, 21 13:13 by Ray Porter (rporter314)


LOL ... well yeah of course. However I still can't explain how a smudge (invariably directional), or the more common on PD's non-directional ink stains, can have a well defined circle, and lines perpendicular to one another in the same matrix. If there were no smudge or stain, I would say they are some kind of scratches, and maybe that is all they are, or as you say, pareidolia.

So here is one for consideration. Is it a whimsical teapot train and caboose, or simply some clouds looking for a design.


Posted Sep 18, 21 9:16 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


With the exception of the splice, all the paste-up tabs in the images I posted are on the bottom, not on the top. Look again more closely.

Posted Sep 18, 21 8:42 by Richard Drews (bear427)


Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?
By the mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed.
Methinks it is like a weasel.
It is backed like a weasel.
Or like a whale.
Very like a whale.

Posted Sep 18, 21 7:46 by Terence Hines (thines)


I think what we have here is an example of pareidolia.

Posted Sep 17, 21 23:56 by Ray Porter (rporter314)


OK ... I know it is difficult to see, so I edited it with arrows. Yes there are "smudges" but I have never seen smudges in a well defined circle or T shaped. Both of the "letter groups" are uncharacterisically well defined for smudges, considering the large smudge is ... well ... a large smudge. 


Posted Sep 17, 21 22:23 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Ray,  You're not gonna believe this, but there is a nearly complete impression of the one on that two cent.
In a more serious vein, all I see is some post wipe smudging of the plate.  Where do you see signs of adventitious intaglio  offset.

Posted Sep 17, 21 21:07 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Vertical Paste-ups with tab at bottom

Here is a fabricated example of how the stamp should look if it were a paste-up with tab at the bottom. Ken, from your examples the 316 is this type of construction. The other Bureau examples are the usual construction I believe. The 5c Scott 351 is a splice repair with a tab under the bottom of the lower stamp. It is an interesting item since the perforated splice seems to have a different gauge perforations.


Posted Sep 17, 21 21:02 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Vertical Paste-Ups

Here is a diagram as to how the usual vertical paste-ups are constructed. The tab is usually found at the top of the stamp. The bottom of the pane was trimmed at the frame line.


Posted Sep 17, 21 19:50 by Richard Drews (bear427)

2c 1869


There is a fabulous exhibit doing the rounds. Stephen A. Rose is the exhibitor. He became a judge over 2 years ago. I had the pleasure of being the chief for his 4th apprenticeship. He has great material, broad knowledge of US and is an enjoyable dinner companion. You can get his info from the APS judges list.


Posted Sep 17, 21 17:22 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

What could it be - flyspecking

Whole stamp for context.


Posted Sep 17, 21 17:21 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

What could it be - flyspecking

Posing two images of a 2 cent claret ABNC due. First is enlarged for inspection purposes. Second the whole stamp.

The enlarged scan has what appears to be numbers/letters printed/kissed/offset at time of production in middle of stamp area.

Any idea what they could be?


Posted Sep 17, 21 16:05 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Private perf paste-up

with tab at bottom


Posted Sep 17, 21 16:03 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Tab at both top and bottom



Posted Sep 17, 21 15:59 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Tab at the bottom

As I reported during the earlier debate on this subject, the first coils were made from strips of ten severed at the guide lines with joins attached at both outer ends. On average there should have been equal numbers of both paste-up formats.


Posted Sep 17, 21 15:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Tab at the bottom

Here is one.


Posted Sep 17, 21 13:47 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

W/F Paste-Ups

With the ever changing methods used to produce the W/F coils, it is always interesting to find the different varieties. The different types of paste-up joins found on the horizontal coils makes me wonder if the same had been done to the vertical coils. At this point there have not been any examples found with the tab at the bottom instead of the top. It makes sense if there are examples of the horizontal coil then there may be ones of the vertical coils.

On a different note, here is another unusual item from the rotary press coils. This is a splice repair done by the Bureau workers to repair or replace part of a coil roll. It has a good PSE certificate and came from the Jim DePew collection. It certainly will turn some heads because of the orientation.


Posted Sep 17, 21 12:41 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Who Collects What?????

Is there anyone that happens to specialize in either the postal history of the 1ct or 2ct issues of the US 1869 issue? Way back when, in the 1960's and 70's, there were some wonderful 8 and 10 frame exhibits that won many Grand awards in National exhibitions. Also golds in internationals.

Several of the exhibits hailed from Texas. Are there any today?

Posted Sep 17, 21 8:43 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

W/F Paste-Up

Hi to all, sorry for coming in late to this conversation but since Ken brought my name up I figured I might as well add my two cents to the conversation. Full disclosure, Greg showed me this paste-up strip of four a couple of weeks ago. I congratulated him on the find and let him know that I had questions about the strip – I too had an issue with the spacing between the pairs of stamps on either side of the paste-up joint.

It’s been four years now that I wrote my article - - in the Specialist about the Scott #356 paste-ups and how they came to be (I’ll be the first to admit that I should write an update to my article to straighten out the misconceptions I had the first time around). In my article I made the prediction then that at some point in the future paste-ups from this first series of W/F coils would be found with paste-up tabs on the left. I’m happy that the prediction came true and a bit surprised how little time it took.

Since I wrote the article my views have changed having had a few conversations with Ken about how to describe the orientation of a paste-up joint and, to me anyways, it all starts with the agreed upon fixed starting point of Washington’s head is up and he faces left. That is the only way we can accurately describe a paste-up joint. I now agree with Ken that there is no right or wrong way that a paste-up was made – the ladies assembling the coils pasted the end of a strip with no tab to the tab end of another strip and repeated the process until enough strips were put together to make a roll of 500 or 1000 stamps. The question remains as to how the tab ended up on the left side of stamp? I still believe the best explanation is how the sheet of 400 stamps was orientated when it was run through the perforating/trimming stage of the coil making process. As shown in figures 3 through 9 of my Specialist article I outline how the tab ends up on the left or right side of a stamp based solely on how a sheet was feed through the perforating/trimming machine – being left or right handed had absolutely no bearing as to where the tab ended up. Once the strips got to the ladies assembling the coils, as Ken has mentioned before, they paid no attention to which way Washington’s head was pointing all they cared about was pasting one strip to the next as fast as they could to make a roll of 500. Apparently the dealers who bought up the remaining unused rolls of the 10c coils didn’t notice or most likely didn’t care that the paste-up joints were on the left side of the stamp vs. the right side.

My last word will be I hope someday to find a plate number on a #356 tab other than plate number 4944.

Mike G. :)

Posted Sep 17, 21 4:55 by Richard Drews (bear427)

drop out


Get well. Take care of yourself. Everything else can wait. All the best.


Posted Sep 16, 21 20:11 by Glenn Estus (gestus)

Re: Philatelic Show 2021 is on!

The someone who dropped out at the last minute was me. I've had major health issues for the last 2 1/2 years and was working on the 8 frames but decided I couldn't make the deadline to send the exhibit in.

I spent most of July and August working on another 8 frame exhibit for the Aiwos 2021 virtual show. ( )

I didn't realize that I had "bit off more than I could chew" until it was too late. Perhaps I'll try again next year. I have a full year to work on it now. It was going to be the 3c Vermont Statehood issue of 1941

Posted Sep 16, 21 15:15 by Mark Butterline (mbutterli)

Philatelic Show 2021 is on!!!

NOJEX 2021 might be cancelled, but Philatelic Show 2021 IS A GO!!! It will happen at the Boxboro Regency, in Boxborough, MA on September 24-26, 2021.

Dealers who need booth space at a WSP show still have time to get space at Philatelic Show. Contact Mark Butterline ([email protected]) or David Ball ([email protected]).

We also have eight frames open in the exhibition (somebody dropped out at the last minute). Contact Mark or David if you are interested in these frames.

Cheers, Mark Butterline Co-Chairman Philatelic Show

Posted Sep 16, 21 10:49 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Postal History of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to 1851

I have just uploaded a new presentation from David Handleman here.

Posted Sep 16, 21 10:26 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

W/F Paste-Ups


In my original post about the paste-up strip of four I only describe the difference in production varieties. I avoided the term, "Reverse Paste-Up" based on the past discussions and articles written on the subject. I also stated, the majority of paste-ups found on the 1908 series are with the tab on the right, not the left side of the pair. My intent was to bring attention to the less common method of construction, and the fact right handed vs left handed workers may be the reason for these differences. Since there are no records of who actually constructed the coils it can only be speculated this might be the cause of the different varieties. Who ever assembled the 10c coil may have been left handed since the majority of the paste-ups found for this denomination are with the tab on the left. One interesting aspect is why have only horizontal examples been found of these two production varieties? Are there vertical examples out there that mirror what happened to the horizontal coils?

Posted Sep 16, 21 6:33 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)



You have a short memory. These are my pertinent replies to you and to Mike Girard the last time this issue was debated here. Besides these explanations I posted images of both right-over-left and left-over-right horizontal paste-ups. Scott Trepel showed that the orientation probably depended on whether the woman who assembled the coils was right- or left-handed. There was no standard method.

19 February 2018

"reverse paste-up"

This phrase is a philatelic contrivance, not an actual manufacturing technique. It merely means a less common orientation than normally seen. From the time the first government coils were manufactured in 1908 until the installation of the Auto-Wound pasting table and Stickney coiler, beginning in 1910, there was no standard method of coiling stamps, nor were stamp coils a standard product. Coil versions of 1902 Series stamps are reported to have been assembled from strips of ten; 1908 Series, from strips of 20. All were by special order, and several were custom assembled to the customer's needs (on spools, on cores, etc.), in at least one case under the customer's direct supervision. That meant that the women who assembled them improvised their methods as orders came in to get them out as efficiently as possible using whatever equipment was idle at that moment.

Despite charging coiling fees (12¢ per coil of 1,000 and 6¢ per coil of 500), the POD and BEP continued to experience increasing demand. No doubt orders for perforated and imperforate 1¢ and 2¢ vertical and horizontal W-F coils were soon sufficient to require some routines, which would have given rise to the orientations that today's collectors consider, in hindsight, to have been normal. But one cannot legitimately project those methods onto small nuisance orders such as the 10¢ of 1909 or the 3¢ of 1911. The latter is especially instructive because by the time Scott 389 (the legendary "Orangeburg coil") was manually manufactured with gauge 12 perforations, standard production had been moved to the Auto-Wound system with gauge 8½ perforations. Note that Scott 356 was an earlier Orangeburg coil order, similarly a distraction from standard orders, similarly eccentric, probably for the same reasons.

21 February 2018 


I believe Wallace Cleland invented the term "reversed paste-up" based on his mistake in his 1976 series on paste-ups in the United States Specialist. He declared, wrongly, that only one orientation was correct for horizontal coils and one for vertical coils. Several years later, when confronted by a glaring (Scott 356) exception, he used that phrase to describe it. The reality, which as a leading scientist he clearly recognized, was that his observations had been too limited. He asked for more evidence of exceptions and he got more evidence, so that by the time he and I together taught our APS class on coils and coil waste, he understood that the term was misleading. But by then it had taken on a life of its own.

8 March 2018

Scott 356

Mike [Girard],

There was one order of 10,000. Max Johl got it right; Philip Ward and Martin Armstrong obfuscated it. There was no second order because there was no need for the stamps, which were special-order items. Even Bell & Company had too many. So half of the order originally made for, and possibly shipped to, Orangeburg returned to Washington and was subsequently (in April) distributed to the other post offices, which became the philatelic supply. (The same sequence occurred with the 6¢ Washington coils of 1909, except that no one bought any so none survive today.)

If you broaden your horizon beyond an obsession with one stamp, you will discover that paste-up joins at the beginning occurred in equal measure on both edges (top-bottom, left-right). If the system evolved to a preponderance on one edge, that is not evidence that it was intentional. Considering that philatelic supplies of all DLWM coils came from a small number of rolls purchased by stamp dealers (they were never on general sale at post offices; always cost a premium over face value; and were not sold in quantities less than 500) it's possible that the preponderance you observe is merely a consequence of the small sample size. As I noted in reply to Greg, the PF has certified more right joins of the 1¢ on postcards than left, the opposite of the old "reverse paste-up" belief.

Added: After the switch to Auto-wound equipment, the placement of paste-up joins became standard, roughly coinciding with the switch to SLWM paper except for Scott 389, which was manually assembled. 

11 March 2018

Coil joins


That's fine, but the methods of assembling flat-plate coils manually had been worked out before the Washington-Franklins.

At first they were assembled from strips of ten, not twenty, cut at the guide lines, with paste-up tabs on both outer edges, left-right or top-bottom. So there was no such thing as a "reverse" paste-up. It wasn't until the women removed the rotary knife at the center of the perforating table and inserted a perforating wheel that they doubled their productivity by pasting as strips of twenty. That also began the possibility of pairs that straddled guide lines.

By the time the W-Fs replaced the 1902 Series, each woman had found her most productive method. It should not be a surprise that some differed from others.

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