Arago: Postage Metering Devices

Postage Metering Devices

Pitney Bowes Desk Model (DM) postage meter


After examination and testing, the Post Office Department (Division of Classification) approved the Desk Model postage meter machine on December 19, 1946. Soon after, the Pitney Bowes company began mass-producing and offering their self-contained postage device model “DM” postage meter. This first hand-operated DM model was smaller than earlier postage meter machines and was the first practical model available to anyone who had the need (rented on an annual contract basis), not just large commercial businesses. It was a multi-denomination machine capable of denominations from one cent, one and one-half cents (needed to satisfy the Third Class postage rate at the time), and two cents through 20 cents. The DM was capable of printing directly on letters or, with the addition of a Postage Tape Attachment, printing on a tape for large parcels. It could also print a user-selected advertisement along with the postage meter stamp. It also included an envelope sealer unit to moisten the envelope flap. The date could be changed and the advertisement could be selected or deselected via a panel on the front top.

This first DM model can be distinguished from subsequent DM models. The first DM model had the one and one half denomination, the DM-2 model had, instead, the two and one half denomination (the new Third Class postage rate effective 31 December 1958), and the DM-3 model retained the two and one half denomination, but a front panel was added for changing the date.

It has two registers, the top one shows descending (credit) and the other is ascending (amount used). The meter could be set for a maximum of $99.99.

Specifications: Overall height, 6 inches; base dimensions 6½” x 9½”; shipping weight (including carton) 16 pounds 4 ounces. There are four rubber suction cup feet on the bottom to prevent movement and prevent marring of desktop.

6.5 x 9 x 9.5 in. (16.51 x 22.86 x 24.13 cm)
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