On a roll... Deutsches Reich Infla: Rollenmarken 420 Stück zusammenhängend...
Although I’m not a stamp collector - postal history with old stamped and postmarked envelopes is my thing - I do occasionally purchase odd and interesting stamps, including, for example, this quite scarce, especially considering the age, 99-year old roll of German Reich 50 mark stamps (Michel Germany catalogue Nr.209, printed in dark green and matt violet) for use in dispensing machines. Note that although the Post Office (in the UK at least) use the term ‘roll’, I think the universally accepted philatelic term is ‘coil’ for describing such stamp formats, and so ‘coil join’ is generally used to describe a pair or strips of stamps which show a physical join between two stamps or strips using a part of the blank sheet margin to glue them together into a longer length.
Usually stamp rolls are made up from normal ‘post office counter’ sheets, common examples being 10x12, 10x20 or 12x20 stamps, and after the ‘coil joins’ can be seen on the reverse of every 10, 12 or 20 stamps of the joined-up roll… but this roll of 420 stamps (500 originally) has no visible joins at all so must have been printed as a continuous roll, or as a continuous sheet ten stamps wide and then separated into lengthy strips a single stamp wide.
From the excellent website GB Stamp Rolls… “The idea of selling stamps via coin operated machines had been around since Victorian times. Various patents were filed throughout the second half of the 19th century, but generally the Post Office seemed to have been disinterested, leaving the early work to other commercial interests."
"The story of Post Office rolls begins on 15 June 1905 in Wellington, New Zealand when the first stamps were vended from a Dickie-Brown machine. Then a fortuitous meeting between Robert Dickie and Mrs Kermode led to trials in London in 1906, to the formation of the British Stamp and Ticket Automatic Delivery Co. Ltd, and then to the adoption of Kermode machines. By 1911 about a dozen Kermode machines were installed in Post Offices around the UK.”
As I said initially, I'm not a stamp collector per se so I may even tear off a few strips to use in collage projects since these don't fit into any of my 'postal history' categories apart from being just within the German 'hyper-inflation' period (which I do have a minor interest in) and when for example a loaf of bread in Berlin that cost around 160 Marks at the end of 1922 cost 200,000,000,000 Marks by late 1923... and when by November 1923, the US dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 German marks... all fascinating stuff to revisit 100-years later in 2022 and 2023.
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Image + words © Ed Buziak 2021.