The Machine Cancel Society Database Project

aka "California Here I Come"

by Bob Payne & Bart Billings

A segment of the California database is being prepared for publication and for distribution to each Society member in good standing as of January 1, 1999. This publication is really a tutorial that uses the machine postal markings of California to describe the attributes of the database and the flexibility of the program in which it is stored.

We have used the Microsoft database program `Access' to tabulate the information. There is a single record for each and every marking, which uniquely describes each known cancel.. For example, look at the two lines below:

ID1

Mfg ID

Cancel ID

State

Town

Br/Sta/zip

PM-die

Xclr-die

Ekyr

Ekmd

Lkyr

Lkmd

Graphic

Comment

3971

UN

52A2

CA

Los Angeles

Hollywood Sta

BSB

500

1928

0202

1928

0224

[3971 image]

shown-bj28 0202

2985

UN

52A2

CA

Los Angeles

Hollywood Sta

BSB

200

1932

0808

1937

0211

[2985 image]

shown-bp37 0211



[[ If you are having trouble reading the preceding table, please view an image of it, and all other images from this page using this link. ]]

A search requested a listing of all the Universal cancels known used in Los Angeles California at Hollywood Station. The table shows there are only two such Universal Hollywood Station cancels known. One, a type BSB-500 was used in February 1928, and a BSB-200 was used from 1932 to 1937.

Most of the listing is self-explanatory, but perhaps a word about the columns headed, ID1, Cancel, and Graph will help to clarify the tabulation.

ID1 is simply an arbitrary unique number assigned to each record.

Cancel is a generic type which allows the reader familiar with the system to visualize the general configuration of the cancel. For example; 52A2 is read as follows: 52=Universal; A=Circular postmark; 2=wavy line canceller. A separate chart for this cancel code will be given at the beginning of the publication.

Graph is one of the most important aspects of this chart. It shows a color picture of the cancel, and the date of the one shown is given in the last column. Unfortunately the graphic cannot be placed in the tables illustrated , but when the database is used on the computer, a simple double click on the space brings up the image - and it can be shown life-size, or enlarged up to 10x actual size.

Now let's do another search. Lets find the earliest known use of a Universal machine in California. By sorting on the date, we come up with a few lines as follows:

ID1

Mfg ID

Cancel ID

State

Town

Br/Sta/zip

PM-die

Xclr-die

Ekyr

Ekmd

Lkyr

Lkmd

Graphic

Comment

3330

UN

52A2

CA

San Diego

 

BT

201

1913

0705

1914

1208

[3330 image]

shown-xx13 0705

2437

UN

52A2

CA

Fresno

 

BT die 1

201

1913

0709

1914

0625

[2437 image]

shown-bj13 1222

3179

UN

52A2

CA

Pasadena

 

BT

201

1913

0716

1915

0215

[3179 image]

shown-bj15 0110



[[ If you are having trouble reading the preceding table, please view an image of it, and all other images from this page using this link. ]]

So there we have it - San Diego first, on July 5, 1913, and then Fresno on July 9, 1913. And, like the previous example, all have circular postmarks and wavy line cancellers. Color pictures are available, and can easily be called-up by double clicking in the applicable graphic box. The San Diego eku is pictured, but the Fresno specimen shown is dated Dec 22, 1913.

We hope this example may give the reader a small insight to the wonderful research tool that is becoming available; and we hope many of you will want to contribute to this continuing project. Join the Society today !

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