Dummy Testing Coils with Defacement Lines

Dummy Introduction (click here) Stampsjoann (click here)

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. 

The most frequently encountered color for defacement lines is black.
For other types/patterns of black defacement lines click here...

Blue lines are also known.
A longer strip with partial plate numbers and an example of possible ink starvation can be seen by clicking here.

Red lines are known in at least one pattern.
By looking at a longer strip, several different "placements" of lines can be seen.  Without the longer strip, each single or pair could be described as a different type.  Click here for the longer strip.

I have only found one type of orange defacement lines.

And, of course, I saved the best for last... PURPLE lines

Other types of purple defacement lines can been seen by looking here.

These pages are an initial attempt to document for collectors the different colors/patterns/types of defacement lines found on the Cottrell press tagged FTPO coils.  This is NOT meant to be an exhaustive catalog of what exists.

Surely, other types of defacement lines must exist in other collections. 

If you know of, or have examples of, other types of defacement lines, I would appreciate the information and will gladly post scans of your coils giving you full credit.

Hope to hear from you. 

Dummy Introduction (click here) Stampsjoann (click here)