U.S. Machine Cancel Finder -- Pre-1900 American Machines

The American company manufactured and marketed several machines, based on several patents, during the late 19th century. Most of their machines were used in Boston. William Barlow's Award-Winning Boston Machine Cancel Exhibit is a great starting-place for learning about the evolution of these machines.

Ah, but you say, I came here because my cancellation is pre-1900, not because it is necessarily an American machine example. If your cancel does not fit the following description, for now your only course is to try to check the web page with the combinations of postmarks and killers for machine cancels of this time period.

[american bar machine postmark 1893]

American Bar Machine from Boston, 1893

An American machine from before 1900 will have the characteristics:

The American company created other non-flag markings, some of which are shown below:

[american bar machine postmark 1890]

American Bar Machine from Boston, 1890

The 6 bar killer is positioned above center, bars arranged convex on left, nearest to the circular dial postmark.

[american bar machine postmark 1889]

American Bar Machine from Boston, 1889

The dial is rimless, often used on 3rd class mail, killer has 5 bars, convex on left.

[american bar machine postmark 1890]

American Bar Machine from Boston, 1890

Tthe 5 killer bars are convex shaped on left.

[american bar machine postmark 1892]

American Bar Machine from Boston, 1892

The 5 killer bars are convex on left, and have a vertical bar crossing them near the postmark.

[barnard/american bar machine postmark 1893]

American Bar Machine (Barnard Patent) from Fitchburg, 1893

This is a different machine from those shown on this page, the primary identification point being the "gripper" marks to the left of the circular postmark, and the use of a 7-bar killer.



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Based on Code by Louis Lazaris. See article and original inspiration.