Glossary: E

Philatelic and postal history terms from "A" to "Z."

E-COM - an acronym for Electronic Computer-Originated Mail. The service began in 1982, years before widespread private Internet use. It allowed individuals to send a message electronically between post offices, with a hard copy provided to recipient by the receiving post office. The service ended in 1985.

Electric eye perforation - a type of perforation equipment. An electronically-controlled mechanical device acts as a guide in the operation of the perforating machine. Short, colored dashes are printed on the stamp sheet margins to activate the perforation machine.

Embossing - the process of giving relief to paper by pressing it with a die. Embossed designs are often found on the printed stamps of postal stationery. Selected stamps of certain countries have been embossed.

En epargne - 'in relief' type of printing plate used in letterpress process.

Encased postage stamp - a postage stamp, first used during the American Civil War, encased within a protective covering that was used as a coin during periods of metal shortages.

Engraving - a method whereby ink is carried in depressions below the surface of the plate, and from there transferred to the paper. Engraving is usually done by hand directly on wood or a steel die. Some dies are produced by etching the metal with acid, which creates depressions in the exposed area to form the design.

Expedition issue - a stamp issued by the state for use of members of official scientific, exploratory, or military expeditions to frank correspondence home.