Arago: Postage Metering Devices

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Postage Metering Devices

Touchamatic desktop postage metering machine

Description:

The Pitney Bowes Touchomatic meter machines were the first fully electronic postage meters. The models were introduced in late 1968 with keypads similar to the newly popular touch-tone telephones. Postage was entered from the keypad and shown on an electronic display. Often the meter was attached to a scale that helped to set postage automatically. Sometimes the meter was attached to more elaborate mailing equipment.

During the late twentieth century, behind the scenes at post offices and unseen by the general public, a transition to electronic record keeping was taking place. Postage on hand and postage used were accounted for by the electronic devices rather than mechanical ones. This provided an improved measure of security for post office revenue. The introduction of full electronic control led to the "Postage by Phone" features put in place in the late 1970s where the meter no longer had to be taken to the post office to purchase more postage

Date:
1968
Medium:
metal; plastic
Dimensions:
5 x 6.5 x 10 in. (12.7 x 16.51 x 25.4 cm)
Museum ID:
1993.2038.2.1
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Glossary

  • Touchamatic desktop postage metering machine
  • Touchamatic desktop postage metering machine
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