The Republic of Cuba (14)
In the United States, up to 1871, postmarks were applied
by hand by a canceling clerk. However, in that year an
experimental machine was employed at Pittsburgh, Pa. Manufactured
by an unknown inventor, the machine was only in use for
a short period during 1871-72 and was then discontinued.
Experimentation later continued in other cities with other
machines during the 1870’s, 1880’s and 1890’s,
however, for the Post Office Department recognized the
value of being able to process mail more quickly.
Most early machine cancellations obliterated the stamp
with a series of horizontal bars, or wavy lines. However,
around the turn of the century, text, such as the postal
station number, began to appear between the bars or wavy
lines. From there, it was only a short jump to replacing
the bars and wavy lines with slogans.
The earliest Cuban machine cancel we have seen was employed
at Havana and is dated April 25, 1911. These three machine
cancels illustrated here were employed later in the 1920’s
and 1930’s, and are a few examples advertising the
beauty, products and history of Cuba.
Havana, 1929 - “Cuba es el
Paraíso/ de los Turistas” “Cuba is
the Paradise/ of Tourists”
Havana, 1930 - “Compre Azúcar/
Cubano” “Buy Cuban Sugar”
Havana, 1939 - “Martí
Libertó a Cuba/ Y Glorificó a America”