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wavy line cancels
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Author:  Robinr [ Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  wavy line cancels


The reason for wavy line cancels is obvious, and they work pretty well in that context. However the style and the reasons for differing styles of wavy lines is less obvious.

The attached illustrated cover exhibits a shallow undulation of seven lines. Does this have any significance? Was there a point in time when wavy lines became standardized?

All and any input will be most welcome, but if anybody can offer a reason for why the cover has the extra apparently decorative wavy lines across the upper corners - I'd be glad to read it.

Cheers! Robin

Author:  mozzerb [ Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 2045

The number and style of wavy lines was originally whatever the manufacturer of the (single-impression) cancelling machine decided to use -- this format was used by the "Universal" machines, "Krag" used five bars, "Hey-Dolphin" varied. The dater dies were even more distinct.

Since by the 1930s most of the machines the Post Office had were "Universal" machines, they standardised on that format -- as I recall 1933 for dater dies, 1936 for the cancel parts in a format with a removable centre section to allow use on different types of mail, although older-style cancellers can be seen later (this appears to be one).

The extra wavy lines would be because the cover went through at an angle the first time (possibly first two times?), so it had to be fed through again to get the stamp properly cancelled and the letter properly marked with a date.

Author:  Robinr [ Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 2046

Terrific! Thanks a ton for that. I only hope that your answer isn't so perfect that nobody else will feel like responding!

Looking through MacKay, one gets an idea that there is a story in the wavy lines, but all the notes are about the CDS and other bits. Anyway, thanks very much for both enlightening and opening the door wider.

Cheers and good luck.

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