Smith Elder & Co Precancel

Precancels of Great Britain

This part of the web site is to consolidate information on GB precancels.

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Henry S. King & Co Precancel
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Smith Elder & Co Precancel Henry S. King & Co Precancel William Dawson & Sons 1st Precancel W. H. Smith & Son 1st Precancel Public-Precancel Frank-Precancel Times-Precancel Railway-Precancel Army-Precancel
Smith Elder & Co H. S. King & Co W.Dawson & Sons W. H. Smith & Son 'Public Precancels' Precancel Franking Newspapers Railway Precancels Army Telegraphs
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.6 obliteration ENT.O.1 Cancel Calendar Embossed Perfin Sloper Contributions
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.1 to T.O.6 Anomalies Time frame Embossed Perfins Sloper punch Contributions


Sloper Arrow



I am indebted to an article by Rosemary Smith (Page 8) of the Perfin Society for this additional information.
Due to the massive influx of post cards following the introduction of Postal Stationery Cards,
the G.P.O. was under pressure to speed up the process of handling them.
One suggestion was the use of Sloper Machines since they had proved a success in other areas.
Experiments started in late 1870 and Sloper punching machines were later brought into use in
London and Liverpool at 7 guineas per machine.

After about 5 years of use, Rosemary Smith writes that:
"By this time some Offices were selling the cards in packs of 24 already perforated.
They were handed back over the P.O. counter from the firm using them
for their business, and they received no further cancellations."

Sloper front

Postmen must have had problems delivering some things in those days.
If you can't deliver it, you can always return it, right ?

Sloper back

Having said that though the Royal Hotel at Llangollen Bridge was patronised by Queen Victoria, so perhaps it was well known then.

These are not very common, so I presume the experiment was not a success.

The Sloper machines were not the only experiment of the G.P.O.

The 'Public Precancels' also came into use at this time, and for much the same reason.
They were easier to deploy to any city/town with customers having bulk-mail requirements, needing only a handstamp in place of a Sloper Machine.
They proved to be a bigger success for over a hundred years.


Anyone have un-addressed Sloper Card ?

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.


Please include the word 'Precancels' in the subject.


Last updated 13th September 2021

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