Arago: Postage Metering Devices

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Postage Metering Devices

Pitney meter die member

Description:

Mr. Eugene Rummler started and supervised the first official use of a postage meter machine in the United States. The machine was used on all official correspondence from the third assistant postmaster’s division for three months between November 24, 1903, and February 13, 1904, when the machine was sent back to Chicago, Illinois. The die member is mounted on this ceremonial plaque.

The stamp consisted of the 'penalty clause,' below which a single-line rectangle framed ascending serial numbers of five figures, the lowest number being “00000” and the highest known number “39569” being a die proof on a small envelope of the Pitney Postal Machine Company.

The indicium was approved by the Post Office Department to comply with the Penalty Clause Act of March 3, 1877, and was used in the official testing. The public acceptance and growth of the 'permit mail' of 1904 for identical third- and fourth-class mail led the Post Office Department to take another look at Pitney’s machine for mailing letters of mixed size, content, and smaller quantities.

Date:
November 24, 1903-February 13, 1904
Markings:
1st Pitney Meter Die Member Used / On Official Mails of 3rd P.M.G. / Nov.24 1903-Feb.13,1904 [on brass plaque]
Medium:
metal; wood
Dimensions:
2.75 x 3.75 x 8.75 in. (6.985 x 9.525 x 22.225 cm)
Museum ID:
0.279511.1
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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