United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Sub-group PO-B – Stamps generated by machines or systems unique to Post Office use, with no resemblance to any commercial meter stamp

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Sub-group PO-B: Special Post Office machine stamps with no counterpart among general use meter stamps[edit]

  • The earliest stamps included here come from machines designed for franking parcel post, i.e. they could weigh parcels and produced stamps on adhesive tape. Later machines also included a weight scale and produced stamps on tape but they were designed to frank all mail, not just parcel post.




USPMSC: POX-A1

USA stamp type PO1.jpg

PO-B1. International Business Machine (MV), February 6, 1935 to May 23, 1938.

IBM built six or possibly seven machines designed primarily for franking parcel post but which were used for other classes of mail as well. The machine included a weight scale as an integral part.
The stamps are similar to Group E stamps in that they are printed on tapes of the same size and have groups of wavy lines in the corners.
"U.S. POSTAGE" at top, meter number and town name at bottom
Meter number with "METER" prefix and "P.O." suffix
Across the center are a serial number, the weight and zone, and the value figures at right.
Five machines were trialed:
A. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00001 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg NEW YORK, N.Y. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RR]
B. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00002 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg WASHINGTON, D.C. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
C. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00003 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg PHILADELPHIA, PA.MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
D. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00004 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg NEW YORK, N.Y. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRR]
E. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00005 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg WASHINGTON, D.C.MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RR]
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$ .00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$ 0.00
USA meter stamp PO-B1 on piece.jpg
a. With "FEE" replacing weight and zone number in center of stamp, intended to indicate payment for extra services such as special delivery, insurance, etc.

NOTES:

  • Meter 00007 was reportedly used for a short time by retailer Montgomery Ward in Chicago, Illinois, not in a post office. Examples have never been seen or reported by collectors.
  • Meter 00006 presumably was built but no information about the machine has been found.
  • Nearly all the stamps known are loose tapes. A small number are known affixed to small cut-outs, but only a single PO-B1 stamp is known on large, cover-size piece, shown at right.



USPMSC: POX-B1

USA stamp type PO2.jpg

PO-B2. National Cash Register (MV), 1959. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[Extremely rare, value unknown]

Used in Alexandria, Virginia post office for five months in 1959.
Although about 50,000 stamps were sold, only a single cover with two 2-cent stamps affixed is known to survive.
"U.S. POSTAGE PAID" at top above "N.C.R. METER No. 1234" and "Alexandria, Va. P. O.".
The date is in the center, and the value figures are at the bottom.
Columns of arcs are located at both sides. Possibly these are end-of-roll markings and not part of the stamp design.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $ 0.00




USPMSC: POX-C1

USA stamp type PO3.jpg
USA meter stamp PO-B3p1bb.jpg

PO-B3.1. Electronic Communications, Inc. (National Cash Register) (MV), 1974. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[R]

Used at various post offices in Flushing, New York from 1974 to about the mid-1980s.
Horizontal design with outer frame line at top and sides with rounded corners.
Profile of eagle at left looking right.
Text at right is "US POSTAGE/ FLUSHING/ NY 113".
Added in a separate step across the bottom are the meter number, date and postage value.
M# with "NCR"" prefix. Numbers seen: 022 through 291 ( not all numbers used).
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg .00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg0.00
a. With "REGISTERED NO" and number added across the bottom MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRR]
b. Without meter number, blank below "NCR" and eagle. This was an error produced by machine NCR271 for a short time.MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]





USPMSC: POX-C2

USA stamp type PO4.jpg

PO-B3.2. Electronic Communications, Inc. (National Cash Register) (MV), 1978. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[S]

Very similar to Type PO-B3.1 but the design is somewhat smaller, and the outer frame has square corners.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg .00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg0.00
a. With "REGISTERED NO" and number added across the bottom (shown) MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRR]




USPMSC: POX-D1

USA stamp type PO5.jpg

PO-B4. Friden (Frama) (MV), August 1984 to February 1985. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RR]

Rectangular design with single outer frame line indented deeply at left for the date.
Above the date is the town name and below is the state abbreviation.
At right two shafts of wheat flank an inner box containing the value figures.
Above the value figures is "U.S. POSTAGE" and below is "PAID" above the meter number.
Meter numbers 7000001 through 7000039 used in five cities:
A. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgBOSTON MA: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 7000001, -2, -3, -6, -7
B. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgPHILADELPHIA PA: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 7000026, -27, -28, -29
C. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgST. LOUIS MO: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 7000011, -12, -13, -15
D. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCHARLOTTE NC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 7000022
E. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSAN JOSE CA.: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 7000033, -37, 39
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg00.00

NOTE: The meter numbers listed are verified. Other numbers may have been in use.



USPMSC: POX-E1

USA stamp type PO6A.jpg

PO-B5.1. Intermec (digital), July 31, 1985. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RR]

The Intermec series (PO-B5.1/5.3) is the second trial in U.S.P.S.'s "Postage Validation Imprinters" series.
Printed thermally on heat-sensitive, self-adhesive labels with fluorescent stripe at right. The design is applied by a computer-controlled variable dot matrix element and not by a fixed die or print head.
The design is of an eagle with wings spread over boxes containing town and date at left and "U.S. POSTAGE" above value figures at right.
Four machines were used. All were inscribed "Vienna / VA" and had the same identification number "U.S.P.S. 123456".
In use six months from July 31, 1985 to January 1986.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgØØØ.ØØ

NOTE: Nearly all known PO-B5.2 stamps available are mint tapes sold to collectors. Extremely few covers franked by this stamp are known [RRRR].



USPMSC: POX-E2A

USA stamp type PO6B.jpg

PO-B5.2. Intermec (digital), January to March 1986.

As Type PO-B5.1 but with meter numbers 000009 through 000012 and with 3-bank value figures.
Four meters were used, all with town line "VIENNA / VA U.S.P.S.":
A. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg000009MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
B. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg000010MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
C. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg000011MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRR]
D. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg000012MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgØ.ØØ

NOTE: Nearly all known PO-B5.2 stamps available are mint tapes sold to collectors. Extremely few covers franked by this stamp are known [RRRR].



USPMSC: POX-E2B

USA meter stamp PO-B5p3A.jpg

PO-B5.3. Intermec (digital), 1986.

USA meter stamp PO-B5p3E.jpg
USA meter stamp PO-B5p3G.jpg
USA meter stamp PO-B5p3H.jpg
As Type PO-B5.2 but meter numbers I8600101 through I8600268 (possibly not all numbers used, and possibly higher numbers were used).
Used in eight cities with several town mark variations:
A. Used in Vienna, Virginia with town mark:
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgVienna / VA : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600101
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgVIENNA / VA : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600155, -156, -157, -158
B. Used in Tampa, Florida:
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTampa / FL 33630 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600130
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTAMPA / FL PO 33630 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600115, -120, -123, -130, -163, -176, -180
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTampa / FL PO 33630 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600107, -149
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTAMPA / FL PO 33629 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600122, -127, -148, -177, -178
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTAMPA / FL PO 33615 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600110, -114, -121, -128, -179
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTampa / Fl 33615 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600128
C. Used in Saint Petersburg, Florida:
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSAINT PETE / FL PO 33730 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg 18600140, 150, -152, -165, -175
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSaint Pete / FL PO 33730 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600186
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSAINT PETE / FL 33730 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600277
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgST PETE / FL 33730 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600136, -152, -165
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgSt. Peteburg / Fl 33730 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600123
D. Used in Largo, Florida: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgLARGO / FL PO 33540 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600104, -125, -126, -128, -161
E. Used in Clearwater, Florida:
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCLEARWATER / FL PO 33575 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600106, -129, -141, -276
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCLEARWATER / FL. 33575 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600160
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCLEARWATER / FL : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600147
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgClearwater / FL PO 34625 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600162
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgClearwater / Fl 34618 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600124, -141, -147, -160
F. Used in Denver, Colorado: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgDENVER CO 80202 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600220, -232, -236, -247, -267
G. Used in Arvada, Colorado:
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgARVADA / 80001 (no state) : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600269 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
USA meter stamp PO-B5p3 receipt.jpg
- MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgARVADA / CO 80001 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600227 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
H. Used in Northglenn, Colorado: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgNORTHGLENN / CO 80233 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600259 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
I. Used in Washington DC: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgWASHINGTON / DC 20016 : MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg I8600192, -203, 204, -206, -212 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[R]
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgØ.ØØ
a. Date with 3-letter abbreviation for the month MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRR]

NOTES:

  • Shown at right is a receipt for the stamps.
  • This stamp came into use in late March or early April 1986. Most Intermec machines were removed from service by the end of 1989 although a few in Tampa remained in use as late as the summer of 1993.
  • The early labels used in Vienna, Virginia did not have anti-peel slits. Starting in late 1986 or early 1987 labels with anti-peel slits cut into the edges came into use. All stamps from the other locations were printed only on labels with anti-peel slits. The Vienna stamps without the anti-peel slits are relatively scarce.
  • Most Intermec stamps available are mint tapes sold to collectors. Non-philatelic covers franked by this stamp are rare [RR].

Machine I8600165 is known with two different town marks, "SAINT PETE / FL PO 33730" and "ST PETE / FL PO 33730". Other machines may also have been used with more than one town mark.



USPMSC: POX-F1

USA stamp type PO7A.jpg
USA stamp type PO7aa.jpg

PO-B6.1. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), April 16, 1992.

This was the third trial in the "PVI" series and the one that was approved for general use. The system consisted of an "Integrated Retail Terminal" designed by MOS and a "Postage Validation Imprinter" designed by UNISYS.
Large round-cornered self-adhesive labels with red, orange or pink stripe along the top.
At left is a right-facing standing eagle with wings raised.
At center right, "U.S. POSTAGE/ PAID"/ town line/ ZIP code/ date/ "AMOUNT"/ value figures/ identification number.
The identification number consists of an 8-digit machine number and a 2-digit operator number (00000000 – 00).
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. Without bar code, used for any class of mail.
b. First day cover MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RR]
c. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".

NOTES (These apply to other PO-B6 types as well):

  • Town name abbreviations and mispellings are not especially rare. Doubled state abbreviations are relatively common.
  • The ink tends to fade on these stamps except on the very earliest stamps. The printing method must have been changed at some point, to reduce costs perhaps, and the change resulted in a fugitive imprint.
  • For mail brought to the post office clerk with postage applied, the machine would print non-postage labels showing a barcode of the destination ZIP code. The machine could also produce labels with a tracking number barcode, both labels shown at right.

The system debuted on April 16, 1992 at four post offices in and near San Diego, California: Escondido, Solana Beach, San Marcos, and the Tierrasanta Postal Store in San Diego. A fifth location, Golden Triangle Postal Store in San Diego was supposed to start using the system on the same day but because of difficulties did not begin using the system until April 18th. The MOS/UNISYS system was considered such a success that in May 1992 the Postal Service began fielding them to most post office throughout the country.




USPMSC: POX-F2

USA stamp type PO7B.jpg

PO-B6.2. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), April 16, 1992.

Similar to Type PO-B6.1 but with 3 mm tall "Postnet" barcode across bottom of stamp. "AMOUNT" and value figures are moved to the center of the stamp. Used for large flat items.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. First day cover MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
b. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".




USPMSC: POX-F3

USA stamp type PO7C.jpg

PO-B6.3. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), April 16, 1992.

Similar to Types PO-B6.1/6.2 but with large 18 mm barcode in center of stamp. Used for parcels.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. First day cover MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
b. Tape inverted with fluorescent stripe across the bottom MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[R]
c. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".
d. Postage Due stamp. Town line includes "PD BR"(Postage Due Branch). One reported: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgTAMPA PD BR FL MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]


NOTE: These stamps were occasionally used to collect Postage Due but unlike sub-type d the stamps did not indicate Postage Due use in the town line.



USPMSC: POX-F4

USA meter stamp PO-B6p4.jpg

PO-B6.4. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), 1995.

As Type PO-B6.1 (no bar code) but the USPS logo is changed to a streamlined eagle's head in a black slanted rectangle.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".
b. Without "U.S. POSTAGE"
c. With company name instead of town name: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpgCOPY CITY USA, GA / 30240MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]
d. Town line "POSTMARK USA, MN / 55425" (error)
e. Town line "ANYTOWN.US / 28126" (error)



USPMSC: POX-F5

USA stamp type PO8.jpg

PO-B6.5. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), 1995.

As Type PO-B6.2 (3 mm tall bar code across the bottom) but the USPS logo is changed to a streamlined eagle's head in a black slanted rectangle.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".




USPMSC: POX-F6

USA meter stamp PO-B6p6.jpg

PO-B6.6. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), 1995.

As Type PO-B6.3 (large 18 mm bar code in center) but the USPS logo is changed to a streamlined eagle's head in a black slanted rectangle.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00
a. With town line "UNIT CITY STATE" and either the actual ZIP code or "00000".
b. Tape inverted with fluorescent stripe across the bottom MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[R]



USA meter stamp PO-B7.jpg

USPMSC: POX-F7

PO-B6.7. MOS Corporation/UNISYS (digital), August to September 1995. MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg[RRRR]

Experimental stamp, similar to Type PO-B6.5 but the labels are from experimental self-stick linerless coil rolls.
The labels are larger and have square corners.
Used only on one machine at Merrifield, Virginia.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $0.00 MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg$00.00

NOTE: Stamps similar to Types PO-B6.4 and PO-B6.6 may exist on the experimental label stock.




USA stamp type PO10.jpg

PO-B7. Pitney Bowes (digital), 2008.

At left, large “CPU” above ID# and mail class indicator.
At center, “U.S. POSTAGE” above value figures, date and Zip code.
At right, large 2D "Datamatrix" barcode.
Printed on self-adhesive labels with fluorescent pink stripe at far right.
Used by contract post offices (contract postal units).
All examples seen so far have identification number with “PB 1P 000” prefix.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $ 0.00o
a. Without pink stripe at far right



USA stamp type PO11.jpg

PO-B8.1. Toshiba (digital), 2014.

Wide self-adhesive label, 35mm tall, with square corners and with fluorescent strip at right invisible in daylight, visible only under UV light.
USPS logo at left, tall bar code above destination ZIP code in center, point-of-sale data at right, all printed in black.
"U.S. POSTAGE" above "PAID" at top, followed by the town line, ZIP code, date, AMOUNT, and value figures.
Identification number below value figures, with "00" prefix.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00
a. Without bar code and destination ZIP code

NOTE: This stamp is from a system that replaced the MOS/Unisys system (PO7/-8/-9) that has been used in post offices since 1995.



USA stamp type PO13.jpg

PO-B8.2. Toshiba "B-EV4D-GS24-QM-CUS-R" (digital), 2015.

Very similar to Type PO-B8.1 but with smaller USPS logo and much wider value figures.
The label, at 39mm, is taller than PO11.
Identification number with "R23" prefix.
Several other smaller differences exist.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00
a. Without bar code and destination ZIP code" similar to PO-B8.1a.

NOTE: Type PO-B8.2 became obsolete in August 2018 when it was replaced by PO-B8.3 in a USPS wide software update.



USA meter stamp PO-B8.3aa.jpg
USA meter stamp PO-B8.3B.jpg

PO-B8.3. Toshiba "B-EV4D-GS24-QM-CUS-R" (digital), August 2018.

Very similar to Type PO-B8.2 but with "PAID moved to the right of "U.S. POSTAGE" at top with the mail class now on the second line.
Identification number with "R23" prefix.
A. ZIP code, "AMOUNT", value figures, and identification number indented
B. Only the value figures are indented
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00
a. Without bar code and destination ZIP code, similar to PO-B8.2a








USA stamp type PO12.jpg
USA stamp type PO12 Standard.jpg

PO-B9.1. Toshiba (digital), 2014.

Framed design with top panel containing USPS logo and "Retail".
Panel at bottom contains the mail class.
Large central area contains a cut-out at upper left holding a letter indicating the class of mail.
At center is "US POSTAGE PAID" above the value figures.
In small print below the mail class letter are the origin ZIP code, weight, date, and an identification number.
Mail class symbols seen are "F" for First Class, "P" for Priority mail, and "X" for "Retail Ground" and probably other classes of mail.
The stamp is found at the top of a large label containing a tracking number at the bottom (shown above right). This stamp is apparently used only on mail with tracking. It is generated by the same system that produces types PO-B11 and PO-B12.
The label is 135 mm tall, and the tracking barcode is 83 mm wide.
Note that the "X" shown on the document is a cross-out (not an "X") indicating I don't know what, possibly bulk rate mail. The illustration for PO13a at lower right shows the actual "X".)
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00
a. Without outer frame line. The label is shorter at 115 mm (most easily identifiable in the shorter field between the mail class text and the tracking barcode). The tracking barcode is narrower at 62 mm.

NOTE: For some Priority ("P") mail labels (only those for express 1-day service?) the panel between the mail class panel and the bar code contains "Expected Delivery Day" and date.




USA meter stamp PO-B9.2.jpg

PO-B9.2. Toshiba (digital), 2018.

Similar to Type PO-B9.1 except the origin, date, and transaction number are at far right. The box containing US POSTAGE PAID and the value figures is shorter in height.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00







USA stamp type PO14.jpg

PO-B10. Stamps.com (digital), late 2013.

Except for textual elements the stamp is similar in appearance to several PC-F and PC-G types, especially PC-C5B.
"US POSTAGE" above "mPOS" at upper left of "PDFD417" style 2D barcode.
ID number with "062S" prefix at upper right above "FROM" and ZIP code.
At right of barcode are the value figures, a 4-digit number, and the date.
This stamp comes from a mobile point-of-sale system used by postal employees roving through customers lined up for service in post offices. The system can handle simple transactions thereby saving some customers the need to stand in line. One of the services offered is the printing of flat rate Priority Mail stamps which is currently the only type of stamp available from the system.
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00



USA stamp type PO15.jpg

PO-B11. Toshiba (digital), 2017.

Large “CPU” at left, large 2D "Datamatrix" barcode at center.
At right, “U.S. POSTAGE” above value figures and other data as follows: mail class and number, originating ZIP code, date, and number of unknown meaning.
Found both with and without destination and code below originating ZIP code.
At left of this data, reading up vertically, is an alpha-numeric code starting with R2305P, and at left, also reading up, is identification code 06 2S.
Printed on plain white self-adhesive labels.
Used by contract post offices (contract postal units).
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00



USA meter stamp PO16.jpg


PO-B12. Unidentified (digital), 2017.

Large label version of Type PO-B11 with large mail class indicator in box at left.
“CPU” is vertical left of identification code 06 2S at lower right of frank.
Used by contract post offices (contract postal units).
V/F: MeterCat 5 spaces.jpg $(00)0.00