Notes from the Past


Denotes in philately, a series or row of round or other shaped holes, punched out between rows of stamps in a sheet (or coil) of stamps to facilitate partition, separation, or division.  Henry Archer is credited with the invention of the first perforating machine.  There are three basic methods of perforating employed today:  (1) Line or guillotine, where one straight row of punches perforates a line at a time; (2) Comb, where three sides of each of a row are done at one stroke; and (3) Harrow, where a whole block, pane or sheet is perforated at one operation, the punches being arranged in transverse rows.  In line perforation there is little co-ordination at the corners where the lines cross, and irregularities can be detected at these points.  It is often difficult to detect the difference between 'comb' and 'harrow'.  Initials or devices perforated through the stamp to obviate pilfering are dealt with under 'Punch perforating'.
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
Posted March 31, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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