Friday, July 5, 2013

International Peripheral Systems Cancelling Machines 1971 -2000

This post is a review of the cancelling machines manufactured by International Peripheral Systems (IPS) of Lewiston, Pennsylvania that were installed at Canadian postal facilities from 1971 to 2000.
 Model HD-2 IPS hand operated cancelling machine
Introduced in 1971 to very small post offices that did not have cancelling machines

Model HDM (experimental)
Sechelt. B.C. only

Model MST
Introduced 1986 to replace Pitney-Bowes machines

Model 4900
Introduced 2000

This article is organized as follows: 

1. Model  HD-2: Small Post Offices Supplied With Cancelling Machines
2. Model HDM : Experimental Machine 
3.  Model MST : Canada Post Replaces Pitney-Bowes Machines
4.  Model 4900 

Many dedicated philatelists have studied the IPS machine cancellations and published their findings. I appreciate their efforts and  have relied on the following articles to present this summary:

Addington, Charles," International Peripheral Cancelling Machines : Some Observations",  The Canadian Philatelist, Vol. 27, No.4, 1976, p. 245
Hunka, A. Daniel," I.P.S. (Model HD2) Cancellations",  PHSC Journal, No. 87, Sep. 1., 1996. p.4
Hunka, A, Daniel, "H-D2 Cancellations - An Update", PHSC Journal,  No.90, June 1, 1997, p.42
Hunka, A, Daniel, "H-D2 Cancellations - Second Update",  PHSC Journal, No.108, Dec.1 , 2001, p.26
Hunka, A, Daniel, "The IPS Model 4900 Machines", PHSC Journal , No. 109, Mar. 1, 2002, p.33
Hunka, A. Daniel, "The IPS Model MST Cancels of Canada", Cancelled (Newsletter of the Postal History Society of Canada's Machine Cancel Study Group), No. 9 & 10, Dec. 2001 & Mar. 2002, p. 1
Shamon, Tony, "Modern Machine Cancellations", Canadian Philatelist, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1988, p. 342
Tring, Howard, "(III) IPS 'Black Square' Cancellation" , Canadian Philatelist,Vol. 39, No.2 , p. 109

1. Model  HD-2: Small Post Offices Supplied With Cancelling Machines

Prior to 1971, very small post offices were not usually supplied with cancelling machines. Mail from these offices was cancelled with handstamps. In 1971, Canada Post Office began supplying them with the hand-driven  Model HD-2 IPS cancelling machines. Over 400 post offices eventually received the Model HD-2.

Plaster Rock, N.B. 
HD-2 Hub and Obliterator

The dater hub's lettering was cut fine with the town name at the top usually followed by a coma and the province/ territory abbreviation at the bottom.  Postal codes were included in some daters.

 Postal code

The obliterator consisted of seven wavy lines. Very few slogans were produced for the Model HD-2.

HD-2 machines were installed across Canada but not at Manitoba or Yukon Territory post offices. Canadian Forces Post Offices (CFPOs) in Germany (Lahr and  Baden-Soelingen) were  also supplied with HD-2 machines.

 A few examples :

Whitecourt, Alberta

 March 3, 1972

Marystown, Newfoundland

 Marystone, December 4, 1971

Inuvik,  Northwest Territories

 March 2, 1972

C.F.P.O. 5056

 C.F.P.O. 5056, Baden-Soelingen, December 19, 1984

Slogan Cancellation

From 1984 to 1989, the Hillsborough post office's International Peripheral System machine canceller was provided with a slogan publicizing its railroad museum. [See earlier post]

Hillsborough, April 27, 1989


2. Model HDM : Experimental Machine

The Sechelt, B.C., post office was supplied with an experimental HDM IPS machine which had a  double ring dater. This was the only HDM machine installed in Canada.

 Sechelt, October, 1988

3.  MST Cancelling Machines : Canada Post Replaces Pitney-Bowes Machines

In the 1980s, Canada Post started to replace the old Pitney-Bowes (PB) cancelling machines which were no longer in production and whose maintenance was becoming expensive. PB machines had been in use for up to fifty years at some post offices.

Pitney-Bowes Machine Cancellation

 Port Colborne PB machine cancellation

A two-phase replacement program was initiated:

Phase 1 (1983) :  Klussendorf Cancelling Machines

 The German-made Klussendorf machines were supplied beginning in 1983 [see earlier post]. These low speed machines were installed in over 400 post offices.

  Klussendorf dater hub and obliterator

Phase 2 (1986) :  IPS Model MST Cancelling Machines

A second type of machine, the high speed MST machine was initially installed at 180 post offices starting in February 1986. The MST machines not only  replaced the old PB machines but some of the newly installed Klussendorf machines as well.

Standard Dater Hub and Obliterator

MST dater hub and obliterator

The standard dater hub had the name of the city at the top and a two-letter provincial designation at the bottom. Date and time information indicia were in one line. Machines were supplied with "POSTAL CODE / CODE POSTAL" slogans.

Machine Numbers

Small numbers above the dater hub identified the different dies supplied to a postal facility.

 London, Ontario Die 2

IPS Rapid Cancelling Machines : Dater Hubs with Postal Code

IPS Rapid Cancelling Machines (IPS Model 40?) were installed at post offices and processing plants using  dater hubs with  either "Canada" at the top and postal code at the bottom. or "Postes Canada Post" at the top of the and postal code at the bottom.

"Canada" Type
"Canada" type
J1H 1R0

"Canada" type used at Sherbrooke, Quebec, July 30. 1991

"Postes Canada Post" Type

"Postes Canada Post" type
L4W 1T0 processing plant

Toronto South Central Processing Plant, May 11, 1988

Black Square Cancellations

Black square cancellations with date information in the centre appeared at several mail facilities was reported to be a spare die for the MTS machine.

Black square cancellation

Mississauga return address
Toronto South Letter Processing Plant

Slogan Cancellations

Dozens of slogan cancellations were used with the MTS machine. A few are shown below:

 Sault Ste Marie, May 5, 1988

 Sault Ste. Marie, May 13, 1989

Sault Ste Marie, May 26, 1985

 Kelowna, June 28, 1987

 St-Jerome, June 19, 1992

Calgary, July 27, 1987

Modified Cancels

IPS cancellers were modified to process large envelopes.



March 5, 1992
H3C 1S0 #3 dater



April 5, 1995
M4L 3T0 #3 dater
Toronto South Central Letter Processing Plant

4. Model 4900

In 2000,  Model 4900 IPS cancelling machines were installed at over 50 post offices. replacing Pitney-Bowes, IPS HD-2, and Klussendorf cancellation machines.

The cancels were similar in appearance to those used with the MTS machine but the standard slogan was different, reading www.canada :

Okotoks, B.C., March 3, 2006
(The Model 4900 replaced Okotok's Model HD-2 machine)

Strathmore, Alberta

February 15, 2007

Model 4900 replaced Strathmore's  HD-2 machine