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Perkins D cylinder Printing Press

Started by Mechanic, August 02, 2011, 10:43:46 PM

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Mechanic

Perkins D cylinder Printing Press

British Library

London

Photograph 2006 by Jacqueline Banerjee.

This machine printed the original Penny Black and Two Pence Blue postage stamps first issued in May 1840. The inventor of the machine, Joseph Perkins, was an American living in London.

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

From Wikipedia
QuoteThe Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year.
All London post offices received official issues of the new stamps but other offices throughout the United Kingdom did not, continuing to accept postage payments in cash only for a period. Post offices such as those in Bath, began offering the stamp unofficially after 2 May.



George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA


Dave Hughes

The letters in the bottom corners of the stamp are interesting from a printing point of view.

Here's an explanation from the www.pennyblackstamp.co.uk website:

QuoteThe stamps were printed in sheets of 240 stamps. Each sheet consisted of 12 vertical columns and 20 horizontal rows.
Corner letters.

As a forgery precaution, "check" letters were placed in the corner squares of Penny Black stamps. The letters identified the position of each individual stamp on a sheet.

The right square letter indicates the vertical column. The letter A indicates the first column. The second column is B and so on across to L for the last (twelfth) column. The left square letter indicates the horizontal row. So the first row is A, the second B, the third C and so on until row 20 which is indicated by the letter T. For example, the stamp in the upper left hand corner was lettered AA and the stamp in the lower right hand corner of the sheet was labelled as TL. Each letter combination is just as common or as rare as any other.

They also had a pic of the presses in action:

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Dave Hughes

Could be a bit of a business opportunity here for an enterprising printer.

This guy seems to be selling reproduction penny blacks for stamp collectors!

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Jeff Zilles [jeffo]

Question, questions . . .

You have a sheet of 240 stamps - value £1/0/0.

Fine - then how were they sold or separated to be sold for I cannot spot a perforated edge, which I would expect to be round-hole for the period - and not every person at the time would wish to spend such a considerable amount of money and then have to slice his/her investment up with a pair of scissors - which probably only a few households had in 1840 anyway.

Rotary perforation would give a straighter edge but, and I may well be in error here, I do not believe that such machines were available until about the turn of the century - 1900 that is, give or take!!

Next query - how long were the Perkins presses used to print postage stamps - I believe that  the photograph of the printery probably was not taken in 1840 to preserve the first 'run' for posterity, unless those entrusted with the organisation of Her Majesty's postal services were erudite enough to drag Mr. Fox-Talbot from his country retreat and dress their printers up in futuristic clothing for the occasion

The answers will no doubt surface but the available information gives rise to a number of queries.

jeffoinoz



Mechanic


Again from Wikipedia

QuoteMain article: Penny black printing plates

The Penny Black was printed from 11 plates, but as plate 1 was completely overhauled due to excessive wear, it is generally considered to be two separate plates, 1a and 1b. Plate 11 was originally intended solely for the printing of new red stamps, but a small number were printed in black. These are scarce.

The stamps were printed in unperforated sheets, to be cut with scissors for sale and use.

I assume only the "Upper Crust" could afford to write letters and buy scissors
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

Dave Hughes

I would have thought the Post Office counter staff would have done the cutting up.

Sometimes they were a bit careless, reducing the future appeal of the stamps concerned to collectors.
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