Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Tips & Hints / Black Marker Bars

When I started this blog is was my intention to pass on some hints and tips to aid the Machin collector to come to grips with some of the less publicised terms, methods of collecting, errors, oddities, and identification of the said designs.

It was also my intention to show people how to pick up on these subjects and learn more about this Mania of mine.

As there is so much information to report ( new & old) It is sometimes difficult, unless I write 10 times a day to do this. Besides, if I did this you would be flooded with text and pics and be unable to digest what is written. I would also be on my computer 24/7 :-)

So whats the answer?

From today, once a week I will post what I will call "My hints & Tips page". And to start it off (although I have given tips in the past) I am going to deal with the subject of Black Marker Bars.

Some of you may be familiar with the term, but for those who are not, here is a quick low down.

The short hand or abbreviation for this in Machin terms is (BMB) and they are what the title suggests black marker bars, although I have also seen red ones. Marker Bars are found on the front of booklet covers (or the fold or spine of covers) of certain Booklets. Machine vended, Counter and Window booklets are known and catalogued with these markings to date.

Why a Marker Bar?

They occur on every 25th booklet and are added at the printers ( Harrison & Sons) during the print run of the booklet covers. The main reason for them is, they are used as an aid to staff employed as counters and packers in the packing dept.

Of complete uncut sheets of booklets, one sheet in every 25 will have marker bars printed on the cover, so when they are assembled and guillotined into individual finished books, each stack of 25, will have one layer with a marker bar booklet amongst them.

I presume this is in order to speed up the operation, the packers just separate the piles from marker to marker, once cut they can be banded into piles of 25 individual booklets and boxed.

Collecting this type of variety has grown very popular of late and as such, they now carry a premium over and above normal booklets.

Below is a booklet cover (Wales 10p booklet FA7 ) showing a marker bar, this usually found at the top and is always placed on the spine ( or fold) of the cover so it can be easily seen.

Cylinder booklets with BMBs are very scarce and if you manage to find one with good perforations you are on to a winner. Perforations on these types of booklets were nearly all trimmed to a certain degree during guillotining, so if you have one with perfect perforations you have a top dollar investment.

I always encourage people to collect booklets with the best perforations on the panes they can find. Slightly trimmed ( perhaps a quarter of a perforation hole showing) on one or more sides are fine, anything below this, I discard when a better example comes along.

Keep em peeled!

Next week. Miscuts:

But do not leave it for a week before a revisit. Bookmark this page and return everyday. I am sure I can find something to wet your appetite or get your attention before then.

And please do pass on the URL to other Machin or GB collectors that you think may find it of interest.

If you have a website or blog, write to me for an exchange of links at gbmachins@lineone.net

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