Maryland Line, MD, postmark handstamp
This wood-head postmarking device from Maryland Line, Maryland, dates from the 1870s. Small post offices at that time were not supplied with postmarkers by the Post Office Department. Instead, postmasters were expected to procure them at their own expense from whatever source they chose.
Wood or rubber was a low-cost alternative to a steel marking device. Rubber-die handstamps deteriorated over time and are seldom found. Wood handstamps were more durable but, as is visible in the photo, the carved letters were subject to more rapid wear.