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 Canceling machine
was designed by Standard Ellektrik
A. G. of West Berlin, Germany for
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
between 4 curved bars as shown at the left and later examples simply
have 6 curved bars. as shown in the two examples below.
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.
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.
Part I - The Providence Post Office
Part II - First Day Ceremony