United States Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/sandbox

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GROUP SPE: Specimens[edit]

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  • Most, but not all, Specimen meter stamps are faithful to the issued stamp design except for an alteration showing that it is not valid postage. The alteration can be the addition of a word or phrase. "SPECIMEN", "SAMPLE" and "VOID" are seen frequently but "DEMO" and "DO NOT MAIL" are also found. Specimens frequently have a blank or all zeros meter number. They may have the generic "CITY / STATE" in the town mark. They originate primarily at trade shows and similar venues where meter companies promote their products.
  • In previous editions of this catalog Test stamps were included as a sub-class of Specimens (Sub-group SPE-B) but they have a different purpose and so now have their own group, Group TST.


* * *
USA meter stamp Proofs not Specimens.jpg

A few comments about Proofs. Meter stamp proofs look identical to approved, issued meter stamps. Those printed before the stamp design was released for commercial use are technically essays but are defined by collectors as Pre-production Proofs. Most are quite rare. Proofs generated after the stamp design was issued are essentially unused meter stamps, souvenirs or samples perhaps, but sometimes functioning as actual Specimens without the characteristic markings. Since they can be printed indiscriminately by mailers their value to collectors generally is nominal. Collectors call such unused meter stamps Favor Proofs. See the article about Essays/Specimens/Proofs in the Information for collectors section of the catalog.

Illustration above right: Proofs are occasionally found applied to cards and envelopes with "SAMPLE", "VOID", OR "SPECIMEN" pre-printed or applied by hand stamp. These function as true Specimen stamps but for the purposes of this catalog are not listed. Only Specimens with these markings engraved into the stamp die are listed here.

USA meter stamp illustrations not Specimens.jpg


Illustration at left: Meter company promotional material occasionally contains images of Specimen stamps. Such images are illustrations and not actual meter-printed Specimens. When cut out of the page they can be easily misidentified as actual Specimens.










Type SPE-A(BA1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(B1).jpg

SPE(B1). Pitney Bowes, 1921.    [RRR]

Type B1 with "SAMPLE" in outline block letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit / Meter numbers:    P.0000 / M.0000
Town mark:    normal town and state
V/F:    1¢ (green),    2¢ (red)



Type SPE-A(CA1)1 in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CA1p1)1.jpg

SPE(CA1.1)1. Pitney Bowes.

Type CA1.1 with "SAMPLE" in outline letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit / Meter numbers:    0000 / 0000
Town mark:    normal town and state
V/F:    1¢ (green),    2¢ (red)



Type SPE-A(CA1)2 in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CA1p1)2.jpg

SPE(CA1.1)2. Pitney Bowes,.    [S]

Type CA1.1 with normal frank but with "CITY / STATE" in the town mark, ornaments at the sides.
Permit / Meter numbers:    443 / 6632
Town mark:    CITY / STATE
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CA2)1 in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CA1p2).jpg

SPE(CA1.2). Pitney Bowes,.    [RRR]

Type CA1.2-3 with normal frank but with "SPECIMEN" at top of town mark with an arc at the bottom.
Meter number:    7320
V/F:    2¢ + 1¢



Type SPE-A(CA3) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CA2p1).jpg

SPE(CA2.1). Pitney Bowes,.    [R]

Type CA2.1 with "SAMPLE" in outline letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit / Meter numbers:    0000 / 0000
Town mark:    STAMFORD / CONN.
V/F:    1¢,    1½¢,   



Type SPE-A(CK1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CA4).jpg

SPE(CA4). Pitney Bowes, 1944.    [RRR]

Type CA4 with normal frank but with "CITY / STATE" in the town mark, ornaments at the sides.
Meter number:    9654
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CB1)1 in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CB1)1.jpg

SPE(CB1)1. Mail-O-Meter, 1923.    [RRRR]

Type CB1 with solid rectangle below "PERMIT".
Meter number:    1038
Town mark:    CHICAGO / ILL.
V/F:    12¢



Type SPE-A(CB1)2 in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CB1)2.jpg

SPE(CB1)2. Mail-O-Meter, 1923.    [RRRR]

Type CB1 with "SA", "MP" and "LE" stepping across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit and Meter numbers:    blank / 0000
Town mark:    NEW YORK / N.Y.
V/F:   


Type SPE-A(CC) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CC1).jpg

SPE(CC1). Mack Postograph, 1923.    [RRRR]

Type CC1 with meter number zero.
Permit and Meter numbers:    6 / 0
Town mark:    LOS ANGELES / CALIF.
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CD1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CD1p1)1.jpg

SPE(CD1.1)1. International Postal Supply.    [RRR]

Type CD1.1 with "SAMPLE" in outline letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit / Meter numbers:    0000 / 0000
A. Town mark:    BROOKLYN / N.Y. (October 24, 1925)
B. Town mark:    NEW YORK / N.Y. (January 1, 1933)
V/F:   


Type SPE-A(CD2) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CD1p1)2.jpg

SPE(CD1.1)2. International Postal Supply, 1931.    [RR]

Type CD1.1 with "VOID" in a diagonal panel at the center of the frank.
Meter number:    000
Town mark:    NEW YORK / N.Y.
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CD3) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CD2p1).jpg

SPE(CD2.1). International Postal Supply.    [RR]

Type CD2.1 with "SAMPLE" in outline letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Permit / Meter numbers:    0000 / 0000
Town mark:    NEW YORK / N.Y. (large letters)
V/F:    1½¢


Type SPE-A(CE) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CE).jpg

SPE(CE). Whitlock, 1924    [RRRR]

Similar to stamps in Sub-group CE this oval stamp has "R.G.WHITLOCK" at top and "SAMPLE INDICIA" at bottom. In the center, "PRESS / No.19 / PATND. / 8/26/17".
This specimen has the appearance of being made by a rubber hand stamp.
Town mark:    LOS ANGELES / CALIF.
V/F:   


Type ESY-B(CH1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CF1).jpg

SPE(CF1). Continental, 1928, or U.S. Postal Meter, 1931.    [RRRR]

Type CF1 series stamp with the center of the frank completely empty.
The stamp is without date and so cannot be positively identified as a Continental stamp or a U.S. Postal Meter (Sub-group CH) stamp since the frank frames are identical. Continental became U.S. Postal Meter in 1931.
Town mark:    CHICAGO / ILL.
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CH1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CF2p1).jpg

SPE(CF2.1). International Postal Supply, 1935.    [RRRR]

Type CF2.1 with "VOID" in diagonal panel across the center of the frank from bottom left to top right.
Meter number:    00
Town mark:    NEWARK / N. Y.
V/F:    1½¢



Type SPE-A(CG1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CG1).jpg

SPE(CG1). Whitlock, 1930.    [RRRR]

Type CG1 with "SAMPLE" in simple line letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Meter number blank.
Town mark:    LOS ANGELES / CALIF.
V/F:   



Type SPE-A(CG1) in 2001 edition

USA meter stamp SPE(CG1).jpg

SPE(DB1). Whitlock, 1930.    [RRRR]

Type CG1 with "SAMPLE" in simple line letters diagonal across the frank from lower left to upper right.
Meter number blank.
Town mark:    LOS ANGELES / CALIF.
V/F: