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S C OTT'S MO N T H L Y

J O U R N A L 23

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All of these plates are originally flat and receive their impressions from the transfer roll in the same manner. It should be noted here that the depth and the dimensions of the impressions are all exactly alike when the transfer work is finished. The differences in the general appearance of the rotary stamps and in their dimensions when compared with ordinary stamps are due entirely to operations which take place after the transferring is finished.

Each of these plates is of soft steel and is surfaced and polished, after which it is carefully measured and the guide lines are engraved. It must present a perfectly plane surface to the transfer roll, and must lie flat on the bed of the press. It is measured and marked for the placement of the first row of impressions, after which it is placed in the first position directly under the pressure jaws of the press, which bear on the mandrel of the roll. A slight foot pressure by the operator on a pedal transfers a “relief” of the impression on the roll to the soft steel of the plate, as previously described. A hand lever gives the transfer roll a motion similar to that of a rolling pin, so that the lines may be pro

gressively deepened in the plate to corre

spond to the full height of the projecting lines on the roll. A marker which is attached to the mandrel helps to locate the position of the corresponding impression in the next row. This operation is repeated until the full number of impressions has been made. A plate number is then assigned. The plate then goes to the proving-room, where it is inked, wiped and run through the proof press. The proof sheet is recorded and very carefully examined for any imperfections. If the plate is a normal 400-subject or a booklet-plate, it is ready for the hardening process as soon as approved, and the back of the plate is machined; but if it is intended for use on one of the rotary presses, it must be further prepared so that it will fit the cylinder of the press.

Accordingly, the plate to be used for printing sidewise coiled stamps has its sides bent around the cylindrical form and its engraved surface is slightly stretched horizontally. Each individual stamp, therefore, is finally from five to six tenths of a millimeter wider than before, although the height is unaffected. The plate to be used

for printing endwise coiled stamps on the small presses or on the large rotary press has its top and bottom bent around the forming cylinder. In this case, the width of the engraved impression is unaffected but the vertical dimension is increased from five to seven tenths of a millimeter. These differences in dimensions give us a sure means of determining the type of plate from which a stamp is printed. The dimensions vary slightly with the different denominations also, but usually not more than 0.2 of a millimeter. It is the difference in the dimensions (using a flat plate stamp as a basis for the denomination) that tells us the story. One who is familiar with fine machine work would quickly appreciate the great care that is necessary to prepare the soft steel plate. The back and edges of each plate must be machined to conform to exact measurements, allowance being made for the shrinkage which is sure to take place while it is being hardened in the cyanide bath. The preparation of the curved plates for the rotary presses requires exceptional skill and technique, since they must fit the cylinders tightly and the edges must fit perfectly before they are accepted for use. The curved plates are attached to the cylinder of the press by means of clamps in the cylinder itself. These clamps engage in notches which are cut into the back of the plate, and the machining of these notches so that they are properly placed and of specified depth is an operation that

must be carried out with the greatest care.

Templets are used to prove the various curvatures and measurements. All of this work must be done without harming the engraving on the front of the plate. Any error in machining would mean that the labor of transferring the impressions would be lost, since the plate itself would have to be discarded. It should be said here that the great care and skill with which these plates are handled has practically eliminated spoiled plates. As soon as the plates have been approved as having given perfect impressions they are hardened. This process is the same as that described for hardening the original die. Occasionally the heat causes the plates to warp slightly. They are therefore care

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fully inspected so that any discrepancies may be found and corrected. When this has been done, they are ready for service.

Flat Bed Presses WE shall now follow the processes of printing and finishing the various

types of stamps separately, for the operaations are carried on in separate sections of the Bureau.

We shall first visit the large room where the stamps are printed from the flat plates in sheets of 360 and 400 subjects for use in booklets and post office panes respectively.

Here we see a long room and many presses. Most of the presses are working on the 1 and 2 cent stamps although we can see some turning out the larger denominations.

Each press is arranged in the form of a square and requires three persons to operate it. Four 400-subject or 360-subject plates are generally used with each press. These travel around the perimeter of the square and an operator at each corner performs his or her alloted task. Each plate turns the corner without changing its relative position in the press; i.e., the top of the plate is always toward the same end of the room. As it approaches the first corner of the press, the plate passes under a roller which uniformly distributes a thin layer of ink over its sur

face. It turns the corner and comes under
what looks like a roll of colored gunny-
sack cloth. This roll is vibrating in a sort
of circular motion and as the plate travels
under it the fabric distributes the ink into
every little line and crevice. This also
wipes off the superfluous ink, but does not
disturb that which has been forced into the
engraved lines of the plate. Here clean
fabric is seen to be slowly unwinding
from one large roll and colored or used
fabric is wound up on the other.
It is easy to believe that several times
as much ink is lost on the wiper as actually
goes on the sheets to make stamps but this
loss seems to be necessary in order to
insure a good product.
As the plate emerges from the wiper, an
operator gives it a thorough wiping with
his hands as it turns the second corner of
the press. This final polish is said to in-
sure the uniform appearance of the sheet.
At the third corner of the square, a sheet
of dampened paper is laid on the plate and
it passes under a pressure roll as it moves
toward the last corner, where an operator
now picks off a few dollars of prospective
revenue.
This process is an endless one. The four
plates are always in motion around the hol-
low square. Each press is said to produce
about 4000 large sheets of stamps per
working day.

(To be continued in April Issue.)

STRAITS SETTLEMENTS PROTECTED STATES Our BRANCH, 178 Fulton Street, offers the following:

9 Fed. Malay States, 1900, 5c lilac and olive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1.00 $ 50 19 Johore, 1892-94, 2c lilac and yellow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 - 10 20 Johore, 1892-94, 3c lilac and carmine rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 .10 21 Johore, 1892-94, 4c lilac and black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 .20 22 Johore, 1892-94, 5c lilac and green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00 .50 23 Johore, 1892-94, 6c lilac and blue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.25 .75 26 Johore, 1894, 3c on 4c lilac and black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 . 12 30 Johore, 1896, 1 c lilac and violet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 .15 31 Johore, 1896, 2c lilac and yellow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 .15 3 Negri Sembilan, 1891-92, 2c rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 .20 6 Negri Sembilan, 1895-99, 2c lilac and brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.25 .65 10 Negri Sembilan, 1895-99, 10c lilac and orange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 .40 12 Pahang, 1891-95, 2c rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 - 10 13 Pahang, 1891-95, 5c blue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 .45 14 Pahang, 1895-99, 3c lilac and rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 15 4 Perak, 1883, 2c brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00 .60 20 Perak, 1889-90, 1 c on 2c rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 .15 44 Perak, 1891, 5c blue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 .30

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Published Monthly by Scott STAMP & CoIN Co., 33 West 44th St., New York City, N. Y.

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The Month

By John N. Luff

UN' STATES: We regret to say that the Journal has been made a distributor of incorrect information. In the February number we chronicled (on the authority of two correspondents) the current United States $1 stamp with the surcharge “Shanghai–$2–China,” handstamped in magenta. We were told that stamps like this had recently been received on packages of lace, sent from China to importing houses here. It was well known that the Postal Agency in Shanghai was about to be closed, and it seemed quite possible that their stock of stamps might have been allowed to run short and that hand-stamping had been resorted to in an emergency. Now it is stated that the supposed provisional is a fraud, made here in New York. The story, so far as we have been able to obtain the details, is that clerks in the importing houses had been allowed to take the Shanghai stamps from the packages and had found a ready market for them with local dealers. Postage on some of the packages lately received had been paid with ordinary $1 stamps of the United States, instead of those with the Shanghai surcharge. There was little sale for the ordinary stamps, so someone who had a box of rubber type and an ink pad supplied a surcharge. This private creation was offered for sale as a last moment provisional and found ready buyers at high figures. The trick was so easy and the financial returns so gratifying that the makers were not content to stop when they had used all the stamps that had come from Shanghai. They bought cancelled one dollar stamps in the local market and applied their surcharge to them. When it was noticed that stamps with the Shanghai surcharge bore the cancellations of various United States cities the cheat

ing was evident. We are pleased to say that our firm has never handled any of the stamps with the fraudulent surcharge.

RMENIA: We have seen the picture issue of 1922, Nos. 258 to 273, perforated 11% instead of imperforate. There are so many unofficial issues and varieties coming out of Europe that we think it well to rest with this announcement until we have evidence that this perforation is official.

CANA'. ZONE: Everyone knows that the Panama 2c carmine and black of 1915 was printed in vermilion and black in 1916. The same stamp, when surcharged for use in the Canal Zone, is listed in carmine only (No. 49). Mr. B. W. H. Poole has recently shown us a large block of this stamp, some copies being in carmine, others in vermilion, and still others showing both colors on the same stamp. As Mr. Poole says: “How come?”

HINA: When sending us the new provisional 2C on 3c green, the Metropolitan Stamp Co. also quotes from a letter of their correspondent in Shanghai as follows: “The reason for this surcharge is that some time ago it was announced by the Chinese Post Office that the inland rate of postage would be raised from a minimum of 3 cents to 4 cents, thus putting the 3 cent stamp out of demand. To use up the stock of this denomination they decided to surcharge the stamps and use them as 2 cents. There was a great outcry against the raise, so much so that the Postal Authorities cancelled the new order and also stopped the printing of the new surcharge just after it had been commenced. The post office here has very few of these stamps and whether they will be good or not I cannot say.”

26 SC OTT'S MO N T H L Y

J O U R N A L

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Co.'' The three stamps of the new series which we chronicle in this number strike a high artistic note. The designs by Emile Vloors are distinctive and unusual. In the perfection of the engraving and printing the American Bank Note Co. even surpass their usual high standard.

ERMANY: Postal matters in this country have reached such a condition that changes of design, denomination, color or watermark are of almost daily occurrence. It has become almost impossible to arrange the newly issued stamps in groups by designs or in the order of their face values. It has happened that two stamps of the same denomination have been issued within a very short time. Collectors object to the inclusion of two stamps of the same value in a group even though they are of different designs. The first stamps in the post-horn design were bi-colored. These were followed by stamps in single colors, some of which appeared before all the bi-colored denominations had been put in issue. And now we hear that the stamps of 100 to 500 marks, which at present are of the numerals design, are soon to be issued in the post-horn type. The 6 marks and 8 marks have been redrawn, making two types of each. Type I of the 6 marks has the corner numerals nearly upright, while in type II they lean toward the right and are slightly thinner. Type I of the 8 marks has the numerals 2% mm. wide with thick strokes. In type II they are 2 mm. wide and the strokes are thinner. There have been no less than four 5 marks stamps in the recent issues but a fifth is apparently to come. One of the “Rhein-Ruhr Hilfe” stamps chronicled in this number is a 5 marks stamp, in the “Miners” type of the 1921 issue but with the design reversed, so that the workers face to the left instead of the right. No doubt this stamp will soon be issued without the surcharge.

ONDURAS: We quote from a letter of Mr. Phillip H. Ward, Jr.:

“My correspondent in Honduras informs me that a Government notice has recently been issued, stating that a new series of postage stamps has been contracted for in Germany, and it is expected they will make their appearance in August. At the same

time a commemorative stamp will be issued, the proceeds of the same to be used to build a new postal administration building in the capital city.” Mr. B. N. Reyes kindly sends us a proof of the design for the commemorative stamp, the central feature of which is a building which by its size and ornateness promises to be very costly to construct. If the funds for it are to be derived exclusively from the sale of the special 2 centavos stamps their number will necessarily be enormous. If they are all to be licked it is to be hoped the stamps will not be the same size as the proof, which measures 3% by 3 inches.

M'L' The three stamps, 5 centai blue, 25 centai red and I litas brown, which were surcharged to form the occupation stamps (see chronicle), had been prepared for use as official stamps of Lithuania. Before they had been put in issue the Lithuanian insurgents occupied Memel and the stamps were surcharged for use there. The first lot of surcharges—with small numerals and words with initial capitals—was printed in the city of Memel. About 100,000 stamps of each value were surcharged. And about one-third of the Iom on 5c blue did not have the word “Memel” in the surcharge. The second lot of surcharges—with large numerals and the words entirely in capital letters—was printed in Kovno. This printing was in much larger quantities than that made in Memel. In our last number we expressed the hope that the recent political changes would mean an end to the tiresome surcharged issues for Memel but they seem to be going from bad to worse. The only comfort left us is the knowledge that no one is compelled to collect all this junk.

Mo'N'G' Our publishers have found in their stock some vertical pairs imperforate between of the 2 paras purple brown of 1910 (No. 75).

ARAGUAY: We have received the following letter from our valued correspondent, Mr. Everett A. Colson: “In the Monthly Journal for November, 1922, page 193, you list a Paraguay charity stamp and a minor variety with medallions inverted. According to the South American philatelic press, this stamp is without J O U R N A L 27

S C OT T'S MO N T H L Y

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NOT ICE

Mr. John N. Luff, having been invited to act as a member of the International Jury at the London Stamp Exhibition, will leave for that city about the time this number of the Journal is distributed. After the close of the exhibition he expects to make a tour on the Continent and will not return to

New York until August.

During his absence all letters about the Journal and Catalogue should be addressed to the Scott Stamp & Coin Co. correspondence must, necessarily, remain unanswered.

Personal Letters will not be

forwarded, as his address will be uncertain.

any postal value or philatelic significance whatever. The following translation of the order of the Director General of Posts and Telegraphs authorizing their sale seems to establish this clearly: “‘Resolution No. 154.—Authorizing the sale of labels given by the Commission “Pro Cruz Roja Paraguaya” of Buenos Aires: “‘Asuncion, September 14, 1922. “‘In the desire to comply with the humanitarian purpose which has guided the Commission “Por Cruz Roja Paraguaya” of Buenos Aires, in giving to the Postal and Telegraph Administration five thousand labels of $1.50, the proceeds of which will be destined for the Paraguayan Red Cross; considering that the printing of these labels was proceeded to without official intervention, in view of which their circulation cannot be authorized with franking value, “‘The Director General of Posts and Telegraphs resolves:

“‘Art. I. The sale is authorized by the Treasury and in the distribution windows of five thousand labels of one

peso and fifty centavos m. c. 1, upon which appear the attributes of the Red Cross and the national coat of arms, and which have been given by the Commission “Pro Cruz Roja Paraguaya” of Buenos Aires. “‘Art. 2. Said labels shall bear the seal of the General Inspection of Posts, applied to them by groups of four in each sheet. “‘Art. 3. The sale shall be voluntary and without any limitation, up to the total amount of five thousand labels. “‘Art. 4. The labels referred to may be applied to envelopes and packages on the side bearing the franking labels. “‘Art. 5. The total product of the sale shall be delivered to the Paraguayan Red

Cross in the form which shall be agreed to with it.

“‘Art. 6. The General Inspection of Posts and the Administrative Department are authorized to regulate the execution of this resolution.

“‘Art. 7. Note hereof shall be taken in the Administrative sections of Posts and Telegraphs.”

“The Centro Filatelico del Paraguay has denounced this label as “lacking in any postal and, hence, philatelic value. Apparently due care was taken to produce an error, which was distributed from Buenos Aires, and Argentine collectors have been sending them to their Paraguayan colleagues at high prices, much to the disgust of the later.

“While on the subject of Paraguay, it seems that there is another bogus stamp originating in Buenos Aires, which you catalog as No. 226. Yvert formerly cataloged it but has dropped it, stating in the current edition that it is without official status. The following is a translation of an article which appeared in Paraguay Coleccionista for October, 1921, on this Stamp :

“‘About two years ago, more or less, there suddenly fell into the hands of some collectors here a surcharged stamp, completely unknown to us. The specimens came from Buenos Aires, where they were apparently fabricated, as a result of the thirst for lucre of some unscrupulous dealer. It was the 5 centavos on the I centavo official of 1913, the surcharge of which has never been authorized by our Administration of Posts.

“‘Months afterward we were disgusted to see this stamp cataloged, not in one catalog only, but in two or three, appearing with rather high prices.

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