Notes from the Past

Coil Trailers

Every once in a while a reader submits a coil stamp with a piece of brown, or manila, paper adhering to the edge, partly gummed and generally perforated at the joint, with an enquiry as to how come?  It may well be a puzzler to those who have never seen, or handled, a full roll of coiled stamps.  This manila strip is the binding end attached to the last stamp on the roll and is wound around the coil as a wrapper, and its outside bears printed information as to the denomination of the stamp therein, and the number in the roll.  Usually there is a name handstamped somewhere about it, the name of the girl at the Bureau who spun them.  When flashes of the next week's thriller, or local advertising is attached to the end of a film reel, the movie projectionist calls it a "trailer" and "trailer" is an apt name for these strips.  To my knowledge, few collect them, but I think in their way, they are very interesting.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
September 4, 1937

Posted July 24, 1999

Editor's note: At that time the typical coil was 500 stamps which was a lot for an individual to buy.  The editor has a coil trailer from the U.S. 842 coil which he acquired from the little corner grocery in which he worked as a youngun.  The grocery store used the coil as the source of stamps to be sold to customers as a service.  Service was important then, as now.

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