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Harrison Dummy Stamps of King George V
Introduction1910 saw Harrison and Sons take the British low value definitive stamp contract away from the mighty Thos. De La Rue, despite never having printed stamps before.
Development trials perfected stamp production techniques for sheets, booklets and coils for vending and affixing by use of dummy stamps, with publicity labels promoting their new-found skills. This rarely encountered material specifically excludes any essays, colour trials and proofs produced for any issued stamps.
Letterpress stamps were initially produced, with intaglio capability not utilised in this reign, despite producing publicity labels. Photogravure was adopted by 1921 - one of the first security printers anywhere to do so - and this proved to be an excellent decision. Harrison called on expertise from Dutch company NRM to train staff in making cylinders and to print by photogravure. Several dummy stamp designs were printed in Holland by Harrison staff, while NRM later helped them print some values of its photogravure contract for Egypt in 1923.
With Harrison expertise in photogravure stamp production growing, they were guaranteed worldwide contracts, going on to print almost all British stamps this way until, perhaps ironically, they were taken-over by De La Rue plc in 1997. The gravure technique still remains Royal Mail's stamp printing process of choice.
Contains much original published research and discovery, as marked *Item first reported and recorded by owner.