Arago: Postage Metering Devices

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Postage Metering Devices

Pitney Bowes Model H postage metering machine

Description:

Pitney Bowes began production of the Model H meter in 1929. It was the first multi-denomination meter and the first in the United States able to print a “slogan” or “postmark ad”. Users had to already have a machine for the meter to operate, which cost $75.00.

A second version of the H meter was the model HS, with the S standing for single denomination. This meter would only print two cents. If a four cent stamp was needed for a two ounce letter, a button on the front of the meter could be pulled out to print only the two cent amount. By pushing the button back in, the meter would print the second two cents with the postmark and date. This meter could quickly and easily be removed from the machine and taken to the Post Office to be set with more money when your funds were exhausted.

The model HS would handle any size envelope and up to one-quarter inch in thickness. It could be operated by hand or by an electric machine. There was a key to lock the meter against unauthorized use. Printing was done by a felt roller which was easily re-inked by putting a few drops of ink from a special can when needed.

Date:
April 12, 1905
Markings:
MODEL H. METER No. 12415 Unit 2 / C / PITNEY-BOWES POSTAGE METER Co.
Medium:
metal; plastic
Dimensions:
Height x Width x Depth: 9 × 10 × 11 1/2 in. (22.86 × 25.4 × 29.21 cm)
Museum ID:
1992.2002.668.3

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