Machine Cancellations and Postmarks Produced in Great Britain During the Early Trial Period 1857-59


This exhibit demonstrates the machine cancellations produced in 1857-59 in London, Manchester and Liverpool during the early trials. Pearson Hill, Rideout and The French machine were used. Cancellations deface the stamp to prevent re-use. Postmarks show arrival and other information.

Great Britain was the first country to introduce machines to postmark and cancel postal items. There were two main types of early machines:

1. The original 1857 machine which could feed, cancel and exit the item.
2. The mechanically assisted hand cancellers which could only cancel the stamp.

The Parallel Motion Machine and the later modification The Pivot Machine were used for 40 years.

The exhibit is arranged chronologically (where possible):

1. PHX cancels - Pearson Hill machines (London)
2. The French Machine (Manchester & Liverpool)
3. Rideout machine (London and Manchester)

There are many unique or notable items. Scarcity (where known) is shown and noted in red type.


"Early Experimental and Inland Branch Duplex Cancellations" - Parmenter, Shine & Hine
"London cancellations" - L. Dubus
"A History of the Manchester Post Office" - C. Calvert
Articles by T. Schofield in Poststempelgilde (Germany) and Machine Cancel Forum (USA)

Winner of the Overseas Members Award for Postal History in the 2021 GBPS Virtual Competitions.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. PH (Pearson Hill) Experimental Cancellations PHX series
  3. PHX 2 - First Day Cover
  4. PHX 2 - A
  5. PHX 2 A - 2d and 4d rates
  6. PHX 2 - Code M (Morning Duty)
  7. PHX 3 - "The Opera Glass"
  8. The French Stamping Machine 1857
  9. The French Stamping Machine 1857
  10. Rideout First Machine 1858-9
  11. Rideout machine 1 (HS) Backstamps 1858
  12. Rideout Second Machine 1858-9
  13. Rideout Manchester Machine 1858
  14. PHX-4 Machine C (code C}
  15. PHX 4 Backstamps
  16. 3PHT3 Trial Machine C