United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Glossary and Abbreviations

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Item description format[edit | edit source]

A1. Pitney Bowes "M" (FV), MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg1920. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[S]

MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg catalog number MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg meter manufacturer MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg model MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg meter type MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg intro. year MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgrarity factor

Glossary and abbreviations[edit | edit source]

Components of a meter impression:Meter stamp components.jpg


  • Bank: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga wheel with numbers on the rim which is rotated to impress part of the postage amount on Multi Value meters
  • BIC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgcircular town mark with Broken Inner Circle
  • DC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgDouble Circle town mark
  • Denomination: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe amount of postage shown by the Value Figures
  • Die: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe solid print head of a non-digital meter.
  • Digital: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga meter that uses thermal, laser or some other digital technology instead of a die to apply the Stamp
  • Fixed Value: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga meter with Frame and Value Figure carved out of a single die. A Fixed Value meter can print either a single denomination stamp or contains a small set of dies that each print a different denomination.
  • Frame: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthat portion of the Frank surrounding the Value Figures
  • Frank (noun): MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthat portion of the Meter Stamp showing the Denomination and (nearly always) the country name and “POSTAGE PAID” or similar statement.
  • Frank (verb): MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgto apply a postage stamp to a piece of mail
  • 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
  • ID number: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgIdentification Number
  • Impression: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe entire imprint including the Stamp (Frank, Town/Date Mark), and, if present, Serial number, Slogan, Slug, Greater Border, etc.
  • Indicia/Indicium: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsame as Frank (noun)
  • Limited Value: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga meter that has one Frame die with a slot into which several Denomination dies can be rotated
  • LV-n: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgLimited Value meter with ‘n’ different postage values
  • M#: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMeter number
  • Mailing Machine: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga device which processes outgoing mail. It can contain a feeding mechanism, an envelope sealer and a sorter as well as a postage meter.
  • Meter: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgfor the purposes of this catalog, same as Postage Meter
  • Meter Number: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgan identification number assigned by the meter manufacturer
  • Meter Stamp: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga postage stamp impressed by a Meter
  • Multi Value: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga 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.
  • MV: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMulti-Value meter
  • P#: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgPermit number
  • Panel: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgAn 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: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga number the postal authority assigns to the mailer (rather than to the meter)
  • Postage Meter: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga machine that prints a postage stamp and maintains a record of the total amount of postage printed
  • Prefix: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga character or characters (usually alphabetic) preceding a Meter Number, Identification Number or License/Permit Number
  • SC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSingle Circle town mark
  • SL: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgStraight Line town mark
  • Slogan: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga 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: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsimilar to a Slogan but the message is for postal purposes. Examples are FIRST CLASS, BULK RATE, PARCEL POST, AIRMAIL, 562 P.L.&R.
Stacked letters.jpg
  • Spacing: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe 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.
  • Stacked: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga word or number with each letter or digit placed one above or below the other
  • Stamp: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe Frank plus the Town/Date Mark
  • Tape: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga 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: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthat portion of the Meter Stamp that contains the post office name where the meter is licensed and (usually) the date of mailing
  • Town Mark: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgsame as Town/Date Mark
  • TM: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTown Mark, Town/date Mark
  • Type: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgMeters fall into four basic types, fixed-value (FV), limited value (LV), multi-value (MV), and digital (digital)
  • Value Box: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga small rectangle immediately surrounding the Value Figures in some Franks
Vertical letters.jpg
  • Value Figures: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgthe numbers and symbols that make up the postage value
  • Vertical: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpga word or number reading up or down
  • V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgValue Figures