United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Directional slugs

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Directional Slugs[edit]

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  • Most postage meters have the option of printing a postal rate identification slug which typically cites the postal regulation (P.L.& R. Postal Laws & Regulations) that justifies a discount from the normal first class rate. It is called a slug to differentiate it from a slogan. (A slogan is aimed at the recipient; a slug is meant for postal employees.) The slug is usually smaller than a slogan and can be found in various spots around or inside the stamp, but it is also found large and filling the space normally used for a slogan. Directional slugs are not necessarily printed by the meter. They are often found pre-printed or hand-stamped on the envelope. The list below identifies slugs known applied by a meter.
  • Positions where a slug can be found:
-   above the Frank
-   below the Frank
-   left of the Town Mark
-   between the Frank and the Town Mark

-   right of the Frank
-   below the Town Mark
-   in the center of the Town Mark
-   between the Town Mark circles at bottom

  • The large majority of slugs found on meter stamps since the 1980s are found left of the town mark or less often between the town mark and frank. The other placements are almost exclusively found with stamps from the 1920s to 1950s, most often with Group C and Group D stamp types.
  • Slugs are occasionally found duplicated in different positions on the stamp. Horizontal slugs are sometimes inverted, and vertical slugs may read up or down. Other variations include font size, the addition of hyphens, spaces, lines above and below or at the sides, underlining, dotted lines, stars or asterisks, placing the slug in a box, etc. Different sizes and styles of type produce additional varieties.
  • Listed below are directional slugs and slogans that have been reported. This is a far from complete list. It is comprehensive for the years before the 1960s but quite thin afterward due to the large increase in the number of different postal rates.
USA meter stamp Slug examples A.jpg
USA meter stamp Slug examples B.jpg
USA meter stamp Slug examples C.jpg




1. SEC. 435% P.L. & R. (for 3rd class bulk mailing)

a. SEC. 435% P.L.R.

2. SEC. 562 P.L. & R. (replaced 1 in 1932)

3. SEC 571% P.L.&R. (for bound materials of 24 or more pages)

4. SEC 571 P.L. & R. (replaced 3)

a. P.5 SEC. 571 P.L. & R.
b. SEC. 571 P.L.&R.P.5
c. SEC. 571 P.L. & R. PAR. 5
d. PAR. 5, SEC. 571.
e. PAR 5 SEC. 571 P.L. & R.

5. SEC. 572 P.L. & R. (library rate)

6. SEC. 34.66 P.L. &R. (along with 10, replaced 2 in 1948)

7. SEC. 34.77 P.L. & R. (replaced 4)

a. Section 34.77 PL&R CATALOGUE

8. SEC. 34.65 P.L.&R.

9. SEC 34.65(d) P.L.& R. (for non-profit books and catalogs)

a. SEC. 34.65(D) P.L. & R.

10. SEC. 34.65 (e) P.L.& R. (for 3rd class bulk non-profit mailings. Along with 6 replaced parts of 2 in 1948.)

a. SEC. 34.65E P.L.& R.
b. Sec. 34.65 (e),P.L.&R.
c. SEC. 34.65 P.L. & R.(e)
d. Sec. 34.65(E)

11. SEC. 34.83(e) P.L.&R. (replaced 5)

12. 39 CFR 34.66 (replaced 6 in 1954)

13. 39 CFR 34.65 (d) (replaced 9 in 1954)

14. 39 CFR 34.65(e) "replaced 10 in 1954)

15. AIR MAIL

a. AIRMAIL PRINTED MATTER
b. INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY AIRMAIL
c. INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY AIRMAIL PAR AVION
d. INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY AIRMAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID [town and state]
e. U.S. INTERNATIONAL AIR MAIL POSTAGE PAID
f. VIA AIRMAIL
g. VIA AIR MAIL
h. VIA U.S. AIR MAIL
i. WD ESSENTIAL OFFICIAL AIR MAIL

16. AUTO

17. BOOKS (See also nos. 24 FOURTH CLASS, and 33 PRINTED MATTER.)

a. BOOK NONPROFIT ORG.
b. CONTENTS: BOOKS

18. BULK RATE (replaced 12)

a. BLK. RT.
b. BLK. RATE
c. Bulk Rate
d. BULK RT. BOUND PRINTED MATTER
e. BULK RATE CARRIER RT. PRESORT
f. BULK RATE CAR-RT. SORT
g. BULK RATE ZIP +4
h. BULK RATE 5 DIGIT ZIP +4
i. BULK RATE ZIP+4 BARCODED
j. 5 DIGIT ZIP + 4 Bik: Rt:
k. 5-DIGIT ZIP + 4 BLK. RT.
l. BULK RATE PRINTED MATTER
m. BULK RATE AUTO
n. BLK. RT. NONPROF
o. BULK LETTER RATE
p. BLK. LRT. RT.
q. BULK RAT ECRLOT
r. BLK RT. AD’L AMT PD.

19. CARRIER ROUTE PRESORT

a. CARRIER RT. PRESORT
b. CARRIER RT. PRE-SORT
c. CAR-RTE PRESORT 1ST CL
d. CARRTE PRESORT 1ST CLASS
e. CAR-RT-SORT
f. CAR-RT SORT FIRST CLASS
g. CARRIER RATE PRESORT (error)

20. CATALOGS (replaced 7)

a. CATALOGUE
b. CATALOG
c. CONTENTS: CATALOG

21. DROP SHIPMENT

a. There are hundreds of different Drop Shipment slugs. Most contain “DROP SHIPMENT”, the city of origin (often preceded by MAILED AT), the authorization number, and the class of mail. The Drop Shipment system allows the mailer to consolidate mail from several offices into one mailing to obtain lower bulk mailing rates. The mailing office need not be the same as the authorizing office. A special authorization must be obtained to use this system.
b. D/S AUTH 2/ MAILED AT 078 (DROP SHIPMENT abbreviated "D/S")

22. EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS (Replace 16)

23. FIRST CLASS (See also 34 PRIORITY MAIL.)

a. 1ST CLASS
b. FIRST CLASS MAIL
c. First Class Mail
d. _ first class mail
e. 1st Class
f. VIA FIRST CLASS
g. FIRST CLASS MAIL ENCLOSED
h. FIRST CLASS CAR-RT. SORT
i. FIRST-CLASS ZIP + 4 BARCODED
j. | 1ST CLASS ZIP + 4 BARCODED
k. FIRST CLASS MAIL ZIP + 4 BARCODED
l. 1ST CLASS MAIL ZIP + 4 BARCODED
m. ZIP +4 First Class Presort
n. PRESORTED FIRST CLASS
o. PRESORTED FIRST-CLASS
p. PRE SORTED FIRST CLASS
q. PRE-SORTED FIRST CLASS
r. PRESORTED 1ST CLASS
s. PRESORTED FIRST CLASS MAIL
t. PRESORT FIRST CLASS
u. PRESORT 1ST CLASS
v. Presort 1st Class
w. First Class Presort
x. PRESORT 1st CLASS
y. PRST1stCLZIP+4
z. FIRST-CLASS AUTO
za. PRESORTED FIRST CL ZIP +4
zb. PRESORT 1 st CL. ZIP + 4 BARCODED
zc. Presorted 1st Class Barcoded Return Service Requested
zd. FIRST CLASS AUTOSR.
ze. PRESORT FIRST CLASS BARCODED ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
zf. Presorted First Class Temp-Return Services Requested
zg. Presorted First Class
zh. PRESORT FIRST CLASS BARCODED
zi. PRESORT FIRST CLASS MAIL
zj. PRESORTED FIRST CLASS AUTO
zk. PRESORTED FIRST CLASS FORWARDING SERVICE REQUESTED
zl. PRSRT AUTO FIRST-CLASS

24. THIRD CLASS

a. THIRD-CLASS
b. (THIRD CLASS)
c. THIRD CLASS BLK. RT.
d. THIRD-CLASS MAIL ENCLOSED
e. Third Class Mail Enclosed
f. 3RD CLASS BK. RT. MAIL ENCLOSED POSTAGE PAID PERMIT __
g. ADDITIONAL POSTAGE AT THIRD-CLASS RATE PAID FOR ENCLOSURES [town, state] PERMIT NO.____
h. SRDCL. BLK. RT.

25. FOURTH CLASS (replaced 21)

a. PRESORTED SPECIAL FOURTH CLASS RATE
b. SPECIAL FOURTH CLASS RATE
c. SPECIAL FOURTH CLASS RATE BOOKS
d. SPECIAL 4th CLASS RATE - BOOKS
e. SPEC. 4th CLASS RATE - BOOKS
f. SP. 4TH CL. LEVEL B PRESORT
g. SPEC 4TH CL. BOOK RATE
h. SPECIAL FOURTH CLASS BOOK RATE

26. CONTENTS: MERCHANDISE POSTMASTER: THIS PARCEL MAY BE OPENED FOR POSTAL INSPECTION IF NECESSARY. (There are numerous varieties of this slug and some include the mailer's name and address and return postage guarantee. The major differences occur in the manner in which the contents are described, i.e., "MERCHANDISE 4TH CLASS MAIL", "FOURTH CLASS MERCHANDISE", etc.)

27. INSURED

a. INSURED MINIMUM FEE
b. INSURED NO.

28. LIBRARY MATERIALS (replaced 11)

a. LIBRARY RATE
b. LIBRARY MAIL

29. NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION (replaced 14)

a. NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
b. NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION
c. Non-Profit Organization
d. NONPROFIT ORG.
e. NON-PROFIT ORG.
f. NON PROFIT ORG.
g. Nonprofit Org.
h. Non-Profit Org.
i. Non Profit Org.
j. non profit org.
k. NON PROF. ORG.
l. NONPROFIT ORG. ZIP + 4
m. NON PROFIT ORG. ZIP + 4
n. NONPROFIT ORG. 5-DIGIT ZIP +4
o. NON-PROFIT ORG. 5-DIGIT ZIP + 4
p. NON-PROFIT ORG. CARRIER RT. PRESORT
q. NON-PROFIT ZIP +4
r. NON PROFIT ZIP + 4
s. NONPROFIT 5-DIGIT ZIP + 4
t. NON PROFIT 5 DIGIT ZIP + 4
u. NON PROFIT ZIP + 4 BARCODED
v. NONPROFIT ZIP + 4 BARCODED
w. NONPROFIT

30. OFFICIAL MAIL

a. OFFICIAL NAVY DEPARTMENT MAIL
b. OFFICIAL MAIL PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE $300
c. UNITED STATES AIR FORCE OFFICIAL BUSINESS
d. VAM & ROC WRJ VA OFFICIAL MAIL

31. PARCEL POST

a. SHIPPED PARCEL POST ON THIS DATE

32. PERMIT

a. PERMIT__
b. PERMIT NO.__

33. POUND RATE PAID

a. POUND RATE PAID VIA PERMIT
b. POUND RATE PAID VIA PERMIT __
c. POUND RATE PD. VIA PERMIT _
d. Pound Rate Pd. Via Permit

34. PRINTED MATTER

a. BOUND PRINTED MATTER
b. PRINTED MATTER BOOKS
c. PRINTED MATTER PRINTED IN U.S.A.
d. PRINTED MATTER SECOND CLASS
e. PRINTED MATTER SHEET MUSIC
f. BOUND PRINT’D MT’R

35. PRIORITY MAIL

a. PRIORITY FIRST CLASS MAIL
b. PRIORITY

36. REGISTERED MAIL

a. PREGISTERED NO.___
b. REGISTERED MAIL SEE OTHER SIDE FOR POSTAGE AND ALL OTHER CHARGES

37. REQUEST SERVICES

a. ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
b. CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
c. TEMP-RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
d. ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
e. FORWARDING SERVICE REQUESTED
f. Official State of Texas Return Service Requested

38. SPECIAL DELIVERY

39. SPECIAL HANDLING

40. STANDARD

a. SPECIAL STANDARD MAIL
b. PRESORT SPECIAL STANDARD MAIL
c. PRESORTED SPECIAL STANDARD MAIL
d. PRSRT STD
e. PRST SPECIAL STANDARD MAIL
f. PRESORTED STANDARD
g. PRSRI STD AUTO

41. ZIP +4 (See also Nos. 17 BULK RATE, and 22 FIRST CLASS)

a. ZIP +4 PRESORTED
b. ZIP +4 PRESORT
c. ZIP +4 Presort
d. ZIP +4 PRESORT BARCODED
e. ZIP +4 5 DIGIT
f. 5 DIGIT ZIP + 4
g. 5-DIGIT ZIP + 4
h. ZIP +4 PRESORT -PM

42. Miscellaneous

a. FRAGILE
b. PERISHABLE
c. DO NOT FORWARD
d. RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED