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The 1901-02 Perfection Machine Cancellations

From the Canadian Patent Office Record, July 1900 [3].

Courtesy Machine Cancel Society, Ref. [4].

According to a study [1] by Reg Morris and Bob Payne, Francis C. Osborn of Detroit, Michigan was issued a US Patent [2] in 1900 for a hand-operated mail marking machine, and incorporated the Perfection Hand Stamp Company of Detroit. Osborn then spent the next years traveling around the American midwest shopping the machine to the postmasters of relatively small post offices. All told, the machines saw use in about 80 post offices. Apparently, they were not made of sturdy stuff, as most lasted only a few years.

The machine also received [3] Canada Patent #67,988 on July 5, 1900. Apparently, Osborn made forays into Ontario in attempts to sell his machine to Canadian postmasters. Two uses of a Perfection machine are now known in Canada, at London and at Toronto.

Although there were several types of postmark format used in machines in the US, all the Canadian uses were as receiving marks. Examples from the trial at London are known from the period January 26 - February 22, 1901. There is only one recorded example [5] of the Toronto Perfection machine, dated May 9, 1902.



  1. "Perfection" Mechanical Handstamp Machine,
    Reg Morris and Robert J. Payne, The Machine Cancel Society Specialized Study No. 7, 1991.

  2. U.S. Patent 645,711, issued March 20, 1900.

  3. Canada Patent 67,988, issued July 5, 1900.

  4. March 2010 special issue #231S of the Machine Cancel Forum.
    On-line retrieval.

  5. Perfection Machines in Canada
    Rob Leigh, PHSC Journal 143, Fall 2010, pages 42-44.