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 Post subject: red and black chargemarks
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:00 pm 
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It is well recognised that red indicated "prepaid", black unprepaid, at least by 5 Dec 1839. Can anyone tell me when this convention first started to be used?
From Peter Chadwick


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 Post subject: Re: red and black chargemarks
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:00 am
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Hi Peter -- I moved this topic from "Postal Stationery" to "Postal Markings", slip of the mouse presumably. :)

As for the question, I suspect the answer is an unsatisfactory "it sort of grew up over time". David Robinson in "For the Port & Carriage of Letters" (page 13) gives the date as "From about the 1780's", but also gives examples of other usages with a warning to check carefully, and mentions that small post offices and receiving houses often did handwritten prepaid marks in black. I can't argue with that.

Maurice


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