Private Control Perfs on Schermack Type III Private Perforations

Companies with Schermack mailing and vending machines used specially prepared stamps privately perforated by Schermack to work in the machines. To control the use of stamps, some companies marked them with a series of holes. Each company had its own “code” that distinguished their stamps from others. Stamps with these markings are called “perfins.” The chart below shows the control perfs applied to Schermack Type III private perforations for various companies.

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1909 Ad for Schermack Mailing Machine

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Quadruple Stamp Vending Machine on Stand

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Early Schermack advertising, featuring a quadruple stamp vending machine on stand.

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Company Proposal for Razor Blade Vending Machine

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Schermack Stamp Perforations

The Schermack name is best known for the private stamp perforations produced by the Schermack Company. Several companies in the vending/mail processing industries took sheets of stamps printed by the US Post Office and created their own rolls of stamps, for use in their machines. Schermack experimented with different types of perforations to determine which worked best in their mailing/affixing/stamp vending machines. They produced three primary perforations: Type I, Type II, and Type III (also known as the hyphen-hole perforation). Type III is the most commonly found perforation, because it was produced for a longer period. Below are illustrations of the various performations:

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Mailometer Company Brochure Photographs

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Images of the Mailometer Company building in Detroit and the Mailometer machine in use. The Schermack Mailing Machine Company was re-named the Mailometer Company when Joseph J. Schermack severed his relationship with the company to focus on building stamp vending machines as the Schermack Company. The Mailometer Company was in existence until the early 1920’s, when it was acquired by Pitney Bowes.

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1916 Schermack Ad in American Druggist magazine

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