Handstamp, FOR DEPOSIT ONLY
This handstamp was not used on mail matter. Rather, it was used for the endorsement of checks made out to "POSTMASTER" to pay for postage and fees.
It is an example of a "rubber" stamp. Rubber stamps have four basic components: 1) handle; 2) block; 3) cushion; and 4) die. The top of the block has a mortise into which the handle was inserted and cemented. Along the bottom of the block, a recessed groove was cut that accommodated the width and length of a firm foam-rubber cushion, usually about 1/8-inch thick. The cushion was affixed to the block with rubber cement. Rubber cement also bonded the rear of the "rubber" die to the face of the cushion. The purpose of the cushion was to provide flexibility and even pressure of the die on slightly irregular surfaces ensuring complete inking of the die's imprint. In example shown, the rubber die is incorrectly positioned at an angle rather than being aligned with the cushion under it. This may have occurred though heavy use or because the rubber cement has lost its adhesion.