Rhode Island Stamp Issues - 1960 Automated Post Office
The First Automated Post Office in the United States
Providence, Rhode Island and Intelex Machine Cancels

Intelex Machine
Turnkey Cancels - 1961


The Intelex Canceling machine was designed by Standard Ellektrik A. G. of West Berlin, Germany for Intelex Systems. The first use of the new machine was at Washington, DC for testing purposes and Intelex cancels exist from that location dated in 1959. Early Intelex cancels from the Providence Post Office have TURNKEY between 4 curved bars as shown at the left and later examples simply have 6 curved bars. as shown in the two examples below.

Intelex Machine Cancel
May 4, 1967

The Intelex Machines were capable of handling 25,000 letters an hour. The mail was first placed in a culler which removed the larger pieces and sorted letters and cards into batches. The batches were then placed in a facer-canceler by hand. The mail then moved past Electronic Scanners which rejected covers without stamps and turned over covers with stamps at the bottom. Two canceling dies then applied the cancellations and the covers would emerge from the machine in two properly faced stacks. 

Intelex Machine Cancel
December 11, 1965

There are only four types of U. S. cancellations known with Intelex markings. They are the 
Washington, DC Test Cancels; Providence, RI Cancels; Pawtucket, RI - (Applied at Providence); and  U.S. Postal Service, RI with no town name, (Also applied at Providence). However, Intelex machines were in use by several European countries and numerous Intelex cancels with those markings can be found.

The last known cancel on cover by an Intelex machine at Providence, Rhode island was  in February 1973. The cancel was the U.S. Postal Service, RI version.

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