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Spoon Cancellations of Great Britain and Ireland

Introduction

Spoon cancels, along with sideways duplex cancels, were the first duplex cancels anywhere in the world. They were part of an experiment to speed up the mail by eliminating the process of using an obliterator on the obverse of a letter and a datestamp on the reverse. It determined the design of cancellers in England, Wales and Ireland for the next 25 years and was probably the first large-scale industrial work-study ever conducted.

Twenty-eight towns in England, one in Wales and thirty-two towns in Ireland were involved. The common factor is an overlap between the obliterator with its town office number and the datestamp, from which the resemblance to a spoon is derived.

The main experiment ran between 1853 and 1859. Most English spoons were re-cut so that there are 137 different varieties. Some towns such as Cheltenham have only a single type; others such as Manchester have more than 30. Similarly big towns generally employed a large number of codes, smaller towns very few.

A total of 90 Irish spoons were issued but only 82 are recorded used. Dublin spoons have a completely different history to provincial spoons. The experiment started later than in England, but finished at the same time so that Irish spoons are less common than English spoons and through poor cleaning often have inferior impressions. As a consequence Arundelís information on Irish spoons contains many errors.

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Frame 1

INTRODUCTION
  1. Title Page
  2. Sideways Duplex
  3. The Reading Biscuit
  4. Birmingham Type F7
  5. Worcester
SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND - SERIF LETTERS
  1. Hull
  2. Hull
  3. Leeds
  4. Plymouth
  5. Liverpool
  6. Liverpool
  7. Liverpool
  8. Liverpool
  9. Birmingham
  10. Gloucester and Shrewsbury
  11. Bristol and Manchester
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Frame 2

SIDEWAYS SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND
  1. Warrington and Liverpool
  2. Wolverhampton
  3. Liverpool
  4. Liverpool
  5. Liverpool
  6. Birmingham
  7. Birmingham
  8. Warrington and Hull
HORIZONTAL OVAL SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND
  1. Birkenhead
  2. Birmingham
  3. Bridgenorth
  4. Chester and Dudley
  5. Chester
  6. See sheet 29
  7. Dudley
  8. Leeds
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Frame 3

HORIZONTAL OVAL SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND (cont)
  1. Liverpool
  2. Liverpool
  3. Liverpool
  4. Liverpool
  5. Liverpool
  6. Liverpool
  7. Liverpool
  8. Liverpool
  9. Liverpool
  10. Liverpool
  11. Liverpool and Oswestry
  12. Manchester
  13. Manchester
  14. Manchester
  15. Manchester
  16. Rugby
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Frame 4

HORIZONTAL OVAL SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND (cont)
  1. Shrewsbury
  2. See sheet 49
  3. Stoke-on-Trent
  4. See sheet 51
  5. Stafford and Walsall
  6. Worcester and York
  7. See sheet 54
SEMI SIDEWAYS SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND
  1. Birmingham
  2. Birmingham and Cheltenham
  3. Burton upon Trent
  4. See sheet 58
  5. Kidderminster
  6. Northampton
  7. Northampton
  8. Shrewsbury
SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND - PARTIALLY RIMLESS
  1. Manchester
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Frame 5

SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND - PARTIALLY RIMLESS (cont)
  1. Manchester
  2. Manchester
  3. Manchester
SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND - THE FINAL STAGE - A CIRCULAR DATER
  1. Manchester
  2. Manchester
  3. Manchester
  4. Manchester
  5. Manchester
  6. Manchester
  7. Manchester
  8. Manchester
REGISTERED LETTERS WITH A SPOON CANCEL
  1. Warrington and Liverpool
  2. Liverpool
  3. Liverpool
  4. See sheet 78
  5. Liverpool
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Frame 6

SPOON CANCELS OF ENGLAND - LATE USAGE
  1. Worcester
  2. York and Northampton
SPOON CANCELS OF WALES
  1. Wrexham
SPOON CANCELS OF IRELAND
  1. Title Page
  2. Athenry
  3. Athlone
  4. Ballina
  5. Ballinasloe
  6. Ballinasloe
  7. Ballymoney
  8. Belfast
  9. Belfast
  10. Belfast
  11. Carrick on Shannon
  12. Clonmel
  13. Cork
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Frame 7

SPOON CANCELS OF IRELAND (cont)
  1. Cork
  2. Dalkey
  3. Derry
  4. Drogheda
  5. Ennis and Enniskillen
  6. Enniskillen
  7. Enniskillen
  8. Galway
  9. Killarney
  10. Kilkenny
  11. Kingstown
  12. Limerick
  13. Mallow
  14. Mullingar
  15. Newry
  16. Newry
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Frame 8

SPOON CANCELS OF IRELAND (cont)
  1. Oranmore and Westport
  2. Roscrea
  3. Sligo
  4. Strabane
  5. Tuam and Tullamore
  6. See sheet 117
  7. Tullamore
  8. Waterford
  9. Waterford
  10. Wexford
DUBLIN DIAMONDS
  1. Dublin Diamonds - Introduction
  2. Dublin Diamonds
  3. Dublin Diamonds
  4. Dublin Diamonds
  5. Dublin Diamonds
  6. Dublin Diamonds
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Frame 9

DUBLIN DIAMONDS (cont)
  1. Dublin Diamonds
  2. Dublin Diamonds
  3. Dublin Diamonds
  4. Dublin Diamonds
  5. Dublin Diamonds
  6. Dublin Diamonds
  7. Dublin Diamonds
  8. Dublin Diamonds
  9. Dublin Diamonds
  10. Dublin Diamonds
  11. Dublin Diamonds