|Dummy Testing Coils with Defacement Lines
Black dummy For Testing Purposes Only (FTPO) coils
were produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) using both
the Cottrell and B presses. These dummy/test coils were used
by USPS personnel to set up coil vending machines and were also used by
large mailers to set up coil affixing machinery.
The FTPO coils printed on the Cottrell press are
known with and without tagging.
Some of the tagged Cottrell FTPO coils are found
with various color defacement lines. While the purpose of these defacement
lines has never been fully documented, many collectors feel the lines were
added as a further precaution so that the coils would not be used as postage:
Their taggant could activate a canceling machine just as the taggant on
a regular stamp would.
It is also unknown if these defacement lines were
added by BEP, the USPS or others.
Shown here are five different colors used in defacement
lines. Examples are shown at 300%, scanned at 75 dpi and saved
as jpgs at 90 quality.