Friday, 5 February 2010
Special Coils for FDCs
What do the 1957 Scouting Jubilee stamps have to do with Machins?
Both have been issued in a special coil format for post office use in creating first day covers.
In his latest Deegam Report, number 86, Douglas Myall notes that the four high value security Machins on the recently issued stamp-coin cover are printed sideways right. (The normal stamps that we get from counter sheets are printed upright.)
Also, he notes that the die cut simulated perforations on all four stamps have exactly the same displacement, indicating that they were produced from combined cylinders in coils. The coil makes it easy for the stamps to be lifted off as a group and placed on the covers in a single operation.
Myall has confirmed this and also notes that the same coils were used on the regular first day covers.
And this brings us back to the Scouting Jamboree stamps that were issued as individual coil rolls. These were vertical coils and, if I recall correctly, were dispensed by a simple machine. Unlike the Machins, the mint Scouting stamps made it out to collectors. I don't know if these coils were guillotined so that smooth edges can identify the coils. Instead, these coils are sold in strips of 21 to prove their origin, since the sheet stamps were issued in panes of 20 rows.