Rural Free Delivery self-inking pocket handstamp
This self-inking Rural Free Delivery (RFD) cancellation device has a rubber stamp die affixed to the flat lid of the pocket-sized case. Inked felt lines the base of the case. Thus, when the case was opened, the rubber stamp was already inked and ready for use.
RFD carriers or their postmasters procured cancellation stamps at their own expense. The stamps were often manufactured at local rubber stamp works, but they were also made to order by postal supply houses.
No instructions have been found regarding whether the RFD carrier postmarked received mail or only carried it back to the route's post office for postmarking there. It is clear that if mail picked-up on a route was to be delivered to another patron on the same route, the RFD carrier postmarked the mail piece.