United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Glossary and Abbreviations

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Item description format[edit | edit source]

A1. Pitney Bowes "M" (FV), 1920. [S]

catalog number meter manufacturer model meter type intro. year rarity factor

Glossary and abbreviations[edit | edit source]

Components of a meter impression:


  • Bank: a wheel with numbers on the rim which is rotated to impress part of the postage amount on Multi Value meters
  • BIC: circular town mark with Broken Inner Circle
  • DC: Double Circle town mark
  • 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 contains a small set of dies that each print a different denomination.
  • 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 and “POSTAGE PAID” or similar statement.
  • Frank (verb): to apply a postage stamp to a piece of mail
  • FV: Fixed Value meter, single denomination
  • FV-n: Fixed Value with ‘n’ number of different stamp dies. FV-5 indicates a fixed value meter that can print five different value stamps
  • ID number: Identification Number
  • 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)
  • Limited Value: a meter that has one Frame die with a slot into which several Denomination dies can be rotated
  • LV-n: Limited Value meter with ‘n’ different postage values
  • M#: Meter number
  • 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.
  • MV: Multi-Value meter
  • P#: Permit number
  • 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: a number the postal authority assigns to the mailer (rather than to the meter)
  • 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
  • SC: Single Circle town mark
  • SL: Straight Line town mark
  • 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, 562 P.L.&R.
  • 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.
  • Stacked: a word or number with each letter or digit placed one above or below the other
  • 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
  • TM: Town Mark, Town/date Mark
  • Type: Meters fall into four basic types, fixed-value (FV), limited value (LV), multi-value (MV), and digital (digital)
  • 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
  • V/F: Value Figures