Arago: Exhibits

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Vending and Affixing Machine Perforations

Private companies pioneered the making of stamp coils in the United States. At first, firms that made stamp vending or affixing machines tried to use strips of regular sheet stamps to produce coils for their machines. But the normal perforations or holes between U.S. stamps were too weak to make coils, which sometimes broke apart.

Starting in 1906, the government issued imperforate sheets of stamps. The companies cut these sheets into strips and pasted the strips together to make coils. Then they added their own unique perforations, creating a wealth of stamp varieties. Benjamin Miller was keeping up with the latest trend when he collected them.

1c blue green Franklin plate number and imprint block of six

1c Franklin Imperf Stamps, used by private companies to make vending coils.

1c Franklin pair

1c Franklin coil pair produced by the United States Automatic Vending Company.

2c carmine Washington pair

2c Washington coil pair produced by the Mailometer Company.

5c Abraham Lincoln pair

5c Lincoln coil pair produced by the United States Automatic Vending Company.