International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Glossary, Abbreviations and Symbols

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Item description format[edit | edit source]


A1. Hasler "F88" (MV), 1956. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[$5] MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCatalog number. Meter manufacturer and "model", (basic meter type), earliest known year. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[catalog value]
Horizontal rectangular frank with panel at top, country name in top panel MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgdescription
and meter no. at bottom center.
A. Meter number with “H” prefix MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsub-types
B. Meter number with “R” prefix
TM: DC, SC MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgtown mark types
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMeterCat solid diamond.jpg00.00 (A,O) MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg000.00 (O) MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgvalue figure formats and (font styles)
a. Date only, without town mark circle or town name MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgvarieties
b. Printed in green rather than red

Below are explanations of the terms and symbols used in the listings.

Glossary[edit | edit source]

Meter stamp components.jpg

  • Bank: a wheel with numbers on the rim which is rotated to impress part of the postage amount on Multi Value meters
  • Denomination: the amount of postage shown by the Value Figures
  • Die: the solid print head of a non-digital meter.
  • Digital: a meter that uses thermal, laser or some other digital technology instead of a die to apply the Stamp
  • Fixed Value: a meter with Frame and Value Figure carved out of a single die. A Fixed Value meter can print either a single denomination stamp or has a small set of different denomination stamps.
  • Frame: that portion of the Frank surrounding the Value Figures
  • Frank: Noun: that portion of the Meter Stamp showing the Denomination and (nearly always) the country name. Often a currency indicator ($, b, ¥, etc.) is shown along with “POSTAGE PAID” or similar statement.
Verb: to apply a postage stamp to a piece of mail
  • Greater Border: a frame surrounding a large portion of the Impression often including the Frank, Town Mark and Slogan. This is a feature found on many early Italian stamps but is otherwise quite rare.
  • Identification Number: a meter identification number assigned by the postal authority
  • Impression: the entire imprint including the Stamp (Frank, Town/Date Mark), and, if present, Serial number, Slogan, Slug, Greater Border, etc.
  • Indicia/Indicium: same as Frank (noun)
  • Key Letter: same as Prefix
  • License Number: a number the postal authority assigns to the mailer (rather than to the meter)
  • Limited Value: a meter that has one Frame die with a slot into which several Denomination dies can be rotated
  • Mailing Machine: a device which processes outgoing mail. It can contain a feeding mechanism, an envelope sealer and a sorter as well as a postage meter.
  • Meter: for the purposes of this catalog, same as Postage Meter
  • Meter Number: an identification number assigned by the meter manufacturer
  • Meter Stamp: a postage stamp impressed by a Meter
  • Multi Value: a non-digital meter that can print any postage value within a specified range. The machine uses Banks of wheels with numbers on the rims that are rotated to make the correct postage value appear in the stamp.
  • Panel: An area within a frank bordered by an outer frame line on two or three sides and an inner frame line on the fourth side
  • Permit Number: same as License Number
  • Postage Meter: a machine that prints a postage stamp and maintains a record of the total amount of postage printed
  • Prefix: a character or characters (usually alphabetic) preceding a Meter Number, Identification Number or License/Permit Number
  • Relief Machine: a Postage Meter lent by the distributor or dealer to a customer while the customer’s machine is being serviced
  • Serial Number: a counter of Impressions or strikes made by the Meter, unrelated to the amount of postage used
  • Setting: same as Spacing
  • Slogan: a verbal or pictorial message of a non-postal nature printed by the meter. A slogan typically promotes a product or cause supported by the mailer.
  • Slug: similar to a Slogan but the message is for postal purposes. Examples are FIRST CLASS, BULK RATE, PARCEL POST, AIRMAIL, RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED.
  • Spacing: the distance between the Town Mark and the Frank. It is usually measured from the right edge of the Town Mark to the left edge of the Frank, but with some stamps, mostly from Francotyp A, B and C models, measurements are from the center of the date figures to the center of the Value Figures.
  • Stacked: a word or number with each letter or digit placed one above or below the other
Stacked letters.jpg
  • Stamp: the Frank plus the Town/Date Mark
  • Tape: a Meter Stamp impressed on an adhesive paper strip meant to be affixed to a parcel or mail-piece that is too thick to be fed through a postage meter
  • Town/Date Mark: that portion of the Meter Stamp that contains the post office name where the meter is licensed and (usually) the date of mailing
  • Town Mark: same as Town/Date Mark
  • Value Box: a small rectangle immediately surrounding the Value Figures in some Franks
  • Value Figures: the numbers and symbols that make up the postage value
  • Vertical: a word or number reading up or down
Vertical letters.jpg

Abbreviations[edit | edit source]

  • A: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgAngular font style MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg(See under Value Figures in the Introduction)
  • BIC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgcircular town mark with Broken Inner Circle
  • C/V: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCatalog Value
  • DC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgDouble Circle town mark
  • FV: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgFixed Value meter, single denomination
  • FV-n: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgFixed Value with ‘n’ number of different stamp dies. FV-5 indicates a fixed value meter that can print five different value stamps
  • G: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgGothic font style MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg(See under Value Figures in the Introduction)
  • ID number: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgIdentification Number
  • L#: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgLicense number
  • LV-n: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgLimited Value meter with ‘n’ different postage values
  • M#: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMeter number
  • MV: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMulti-Value meter
  • NOR: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgcircular town mark with No Outer Rim
  • O: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgOval font style MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg(See under Value Figures in the Introduction)
  • S#: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSerial number (impression counter number)
  • SC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSingle Circle town mark
  • SL: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgStraight Line town mark
  • TM: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTown Mark, Town/date Mark
  • V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgValue Figures

Symbols[edit | edit source]

These symbols are used to depict non-numeric elements in the Value Figures:

MeterCat 4-point star.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg4-point star
MeterCat 5-point asterisk.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg5-point asterisk with arms pointing inward
MeterCat solid 5-point star.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsolid 5-point star, arms pointing outward (can be thick or thin, upright or with vertical arm pointing down)
MeterCat hollow 5-point star.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpghollow 5-point star
MeterCat 5-point starburst.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg5-point starburst (sometimes appears to be a dot with five smaller dots around it)
MeterCat solid 6-point star.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsolid 6-point star
MeterCat 6-point starburst h.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg6-point star with horizontal and diagonal arms
MeterCat 6-point starburst v.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg6-point star with vertical and diagonal arms
MeterCat 8-point starburst.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg8-point starburst
MeterCat 12-point starburst.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg12-point starburst
MeterCat Maltese cross.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMaltese cross
≈ : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgdouble tilde
MeterCat triad.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthree stacked wavy lines (sometimes called a triad or triple tilde)
= : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgtwo stacked straight lines
MeterCat straight triad.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthree stacked straight lines
MeterCat 4 dashes.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgfour stacked straight lines
MeterCat solid diamond.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsolid diamond (sometimes appears as a large dot)
MeterCat hollow diamond.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpghollow diamond
MeterCat solid circle.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsolid circle
MeterCat quad head.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgquartered solid circle (~ Phillips screw head)
MeterCat slot head.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsplit solid circle (~ slotted screw head)
MeterCat box.jpg : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgoutlined square