Glossary: B

Balloon Post, Siege of Paris (1870-71) - a system devised by French Doctor Julien F. Jeannel (1814-1896) which used free flying, un-manned balloons to transport post over Prussian lines during the Siege of Paris. These balloons marked the birth of airmail delivery.

Barcodes - series of vertical bars of varying heights. Each digit represents a number from zero to nine. The postal barcodes represent the delivery address and are used by autmated machinery in processing.

Bicycle mail - a delivery service operated with local stamps by themselves or with stamp of the country.

Bisect - a stamp cut or perforated into two parts, each half representing half the face value of the original stamp. Officially authorized bisects have often been used during temporary shortages of commonly used denominations. Some countries have, at times, permitted trisects or quadrisects.

Blind perforation - intended performations that are only lightly impressed by the perforating pins, often the product of a badly adjusted perforating machine or worn or missing pins.

Board of Governers - the Board is the Postal Service's governing board. Each member is appointed by the President of the U.S., and the Postmaster General serves at the pleasure of the board. Governors' appointments are for nine years.

Boating stamp - stamp paying U.S. Coast Guard certificate fee for boats of more than ten horsepower; $3 and $1 values.

Bogus stamp - a fictitious, stamp-like label created for sale to collectors, also known as a 'Cinderella'. Bogus issues include labels for nonexistent countries or postal administrations; nonexistent values appended to regularly issued sets; and issues for nations or similar entities without postal systems. The more contemporary 'stamp art' can fall into this category but often leans toward lewd exhibitionism.

Bulk rate stamp - low denomination stamps for use bulk mail.

Bus parcel stamp - private labels issued by bus firms to prepay freight charges on parcels carried on their routes.

Bypost stamp - local stamp issued by municipal postal service for the town. The name means 'town post'.