Thursday, October 4, 2012

Twenty-eighth Philatelic Congress of Great Britain Covers

I have mentioned the first commercially available mechanical sorting machine – the Transorma. This machine was designed and produced in Holland by Marchand and Andriessen. The machine’s name was an abbreviation for TRANsport and SORting Marchand and Andriessen.

The first machines entered service in Holland between 1927 and 1930. Two machines were purchased by the Post Office and installed at Brighton in 1935. Some trials commenced around the 14th September 1935 with the official use occurring on the 7th October with the earliest dated covers being the 8th.

People searching for examples of Brighton Transorma marks tend to look at postcards from Brighton/Sussex and any envelopes from September 1935 to 1967. One rich source is Philatelic Congress of Great Britain Covers from 1946. Many of these received Transorma marks. Two such covers are illustrated here dated on the first and last days of the event. 

Of note is the ident mark (arrowed). Both were processed by operator “i”. The earliest example has the ident in black while the other is in black/red. After the Second World War, spares were hard to come by including the inked tapes. So the Post Office made do with typewriter ribbon which had black and red sections. The normal colour for idents is red.

These covers are collectible for two reasons – they commemorate an event and they present evidence that a machine was used to sort the mail.

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