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Mail Cancelling Machine
- a: The largest part is the machine proper which has a large central wheel with a wooden handle. This wheel drives several gears of the artifact and that are linked together by a series of rubber bands. These bands turn the stamping head where the ‘kill’ and an insertable post mark alternate stampin…
- Columbia Postal Supply Company Mail Marking Machine
- Columbia Postal Supply Co.
- TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- PRINTING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
- Place Of Manufacture
- United States: New York, Silver Creek
- a: The largest part is the machine proper which has a large central wheel with a wooden handle. This wheel drives several gears of the artifact and that are linked together by a series of rubber bands. These bands turn the stamping head where the ‘kill’ and an insertable post mark alternate stamping the letters that are being processed by the machine. One would feed mail through one end and have cancelled mail come out the other end.
b - g: A modifiable stamp that was used to postmark stamps that were cancelled. The postmark is housed in a circular frame and has “Smithers / B.C" permanently embossed on the top and the bottom of the circle. There is three slots where modifiable inserts could be added that allowed to postmark to display dates and time. At the time of discovering the item, the following inserts were found in and around the the stamp: "DEC", "10", "16", "1960", and "AM--"
h: An exacto blade found in the box containing the mail marking machine. Included in accession to show potential use with machine.i: A small wooden box 10 x 8 cm which has six slots for holding stamp pieces to modify postmark stamp and one slot for holding tweezers. Stained in ink and posessing a small hooked latch to keep it closed.
j - rrr: 61 stamp pieces, including months January - November, numbers 1 - 31, spare numbers, the years, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, and time marking symbols (30AM, M---, 30PM, --PM)
sss: Small silver metal tweezers.
ttt: A cloth mail bag (19.5 x 23.5cm) with attached paper postage space. See inscriptions field. This item held rubber parts and rollers listed directly below.
uuu - rrrr: 24 distinct replacement pieces, mostly rubber bands to replace those parts apparent in (a). There are two rollers that are also used in the machine and there is one metal washer. These were all found in (ttt).
ssss - wwww: These are more rubber parts that were found outside the cloth bag.
- History Of Use
- In terms of broader value this item appears to be relatively valuable. It is does not appear to be particularly unique as is evidenced by a very similar item being held in the Chilliwack Museum. Another example, used in Chandler, Arizona in 1931, can be found on the Postal History Foundation website.
Cancellations are a large part of stamp collecting as they augment (or diminish) the price of stamps, often to a significant degree. Interest in the machines themselves are much less pronounced than the stamps but there still remains significant interest (see for example: The International Machine Cancel Society).
Of highest value are fancy cancellations – hand-made stamps that are individualized by smaller post-offices, common in the late 19th century. Machine cancellers, like the one discussed here, were the successors to these fancy cancels. The Columbia Postal Supply Company of Silver Creek, New York began manufacturing machines in 1900 and continued to sell the items for several decades afterwards.
In the Canadian context these specific machines were introduced into the Canadian Post Office system later than other cancelling machines such as the International Postal Supply machines. One philately magazine postulates that these machines were beginning to be adopted by post offices in the 1920s.
- . Underneath the operating wheel is a series of identifying marks including the items “Shop No. 4832” and patent information “Columbia Postal Supply Co. / Silver Creek, New York, USA / patented Nov 25, 1913…[other patenting information]…Oct 23, 1917, no. 1,243,740”.The postmark is housed in a circular frame and has “Smithers / B.C.” permanently embossed on it.
sss: Postage area has "COLUMBIA POSTAL SUPPLY CO. / Silver Creek, N. Y." stamped on it. In the TO: field "POSTMASTER" is stamped and then Smithers, B.C. is written underneath. A postmark, circular has: "SILVER CREEK N.Y. / JAN [illegible] 530PM".
- Number Of Parts
- Accession No.
- 2016.26.1 a-wwww
- Type of Record
- Museum Artifact