Auxiliary handstamp, PAID
PAID was an auxiliary marking that pre-dated the requirement of prepaid postage with stamps. The postal employee accepting a mail piece and receiving the cash payment for postage would rate the letter. Applying the PAID marking indicated that the postage required had been collected at the origin office.
Postmasters often procured their own marking devices. They sometimes purchased a handstamp from a postal supply house, but sometimes they created a device on their own.
Linen markers were often adaptively used by post office employees. They featured a mortised slot into which lead or type-metal type could be inserted and then secured in place by a set screw.