Glossary: T

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

Talking stamp - an issue of seven plastic, self-adhesive stamps in form of miniature gramophone records which played the national anthem and gave commentary on history of the country. The stamps were issued in Bhutan, a country in the eastern Himalayas, on April 15, 1973.

Tax Paid stamp - a revenue stamp used to indicate tax payment on various commodities. The Tax Paid stamp did not indicate money value. Rather, it stated quantity or weight.

Telegraph stamp - a service-fee stamp that confirmed payment or exemption from payment for delivery of a telegraphic message. The English and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company issued what were probably the first telegraph stamps in 1853.

Telegraph stamp - adhesive or imprinted revenue stamp paying the cost of a telegram; usually attached to or forming part of the message form.

Tete-beche - a condition created in plate production, either accidentally or intentionally, in which the stamp design is inverted in alternate vertical or horizontal rows. This results in pairs of stamps in which the adjacent stamp is upside down in relation to the other.

Tobacco sale tax stamp - a revenue stamp intended to pay tax on sale of tobacco above quotas established in Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1935. Like potato tax stamps, it was declared unconstitutional.

Topical collecting - a strategy for collecting stamps which uses subject matter as the organizing theme.

Tour Number - 'Tour number' is post office slang for 'shift.' Tour 1 is generally from 10:30 p.m. until 7:00 a.m., Tour 2 runs from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and Tour 3 starts at 3:30 p.m. and runs until midnight. These times may vary by facility and by era. Highway Post Offices had 'trips', while Railway Post Offices used 'train'. Stationary units such as terminals, transfer offices, and airmail facilities referred to 'tours'. Conveniently enough, all three were abbreviated "TR" and had a type piece inserted into the handstamp to designate when an item was postmarked. All three also used the convention that the date in the handstamp corresponded to when the "TR" started. So if a trip, train, or tour started on day one and continued into day two, the date associated with day one stayed in the handstamp for the entire duration.

Typography - printing method done by pressure, the ink lines being impressed into the paper so that they appear raised on the back of the stamp. This is also referred to as 'letterpress' or 'relief' printing.