U.S. Machine Cancel Finder -- Barry Matrix

The machine cancel "finder" can help you identify a particular marking and the machine which produced it. One of the more confusing machines is the Barry. This cancel can be seen with 3 different postmarks (dials) and 3 different killer designs (as well as a flag-style killer). This "matrix" may help you to identify which Barry type you are looking at. Note, that if you have no idea where to start, try the machine type web page first.

Please note that Barry cancels can often be identifed by the fact that the feeder mechanism for the machine was a series of pins that grabbed the card or envelope near its right edge. If there is evidence of slight pin impressions near the right edge of the card or envelope, the cancel may be a Barry.

For general information on the Barry company and cancels, see my webpage on this (and other) manufacturers of cancelling machines.

Read the following table: DOWN the left side are postmark (dial) types, ACROSS the table are killer types



Horizontal Lines

Rectilinear Postmark

Oval Postmark

Circular Postmark

Circular/Diagonal (Unknown)

Only Known Barry "Flag" Cancels

Langford notes in his flag cancel book that the Barry company produced "flag" killer devices for the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. These machine examples are rare.

Illustration from Langford Book, Showing Barry Flag Cancels

Additional Barry Items

Barry Example Showing Feed Pin Marks

Early Barry Example from Oswego, New York

Another Early Barry Example from Oswego, New York

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Updated February 25, 2019

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