The Multipost Stamp Affixer is another excellent find for those looking for cool office antiques. The first Multipost Model 1 was patented in 1911 and had the patents Aug. 8, 1911 (Patent No 999884), Dec. 19, 1911 (Patent No 1012021) Mar. 26, 1912, others were pending at the time. I have a few variants to the Multipost, another patent that I was able to find on what looks like the Multipost appears on May 31, 1921 (1379651) by inventor Willima F Schweiger.
The automatic postage stamp machine (poster stamp affixer) was designed for two reasons. First it automated the process of placing stamps on envelops and packages and second, it reduced theft of stamps by not allowing users access to the stamps without keys. Ours of course, like our Wizard Stamp Affixer was locked and came without a key.
In order to figure out what the guts of the device look like, you can do a patent search or hire a locksmith to try and make a key. Right now I am not sure of the cost, but I should probably go through the process of finding out. I am quite certain other people will run into lock issues at some point in their antiquing journeys.
Multipost Stamp Affixer – Determining Age
OK now for a little detective work. Our Mulitpost Stamp Affixer came with 9 patent numbers on it (See Below). The last patent number is the starting point for determining age, so in this case patent number 1877849. Using Google’s Patent search, the patent number 1877849 for the Multipost Stamp Affixer reveals, that it was issued to the inventors Edward W. Gmelin and Azel Gay (The US patent office has Edward name spelled incorrectly as “EDWABD W. G-MELIN”). The patent was applied for on September 23, 1931 and approved a year later on September 20, 1932. That means that our little device was made after 1932. It was first patented in 1911 and advertised from 1910 to 1940. So by deductive reasoning our little baby was probably made between 1932 and 1940.
Here are several patent numbers that appear on our Multipost Stamp Affixer that we ran a patent search on.
1277432, 1312669, 1326978, 1356253, 1379651, 1406435, 1497766, 1820697, 1877849
Earlier models of the the Multipost Stamp Affixer (model 1) came with wooden handles and later versions were bakelite. Earlier modes had a metal dial on the front of the Stamper below the counter and later ones had a bakelite dial. It stands approximately 6 1/2″ high and has a base about base 3″ x 1 1/2″. Our particular model (model 35) was made in Rochester New York for the Commercial Controls Corporation. The Multipost Stamp Affixer can hold up to 500 stamps.
From what I can tell Model 30 Multipost Stamp Affixers didn’t contain a counter on the front. These may have been for home/office use where stamp theft might not have been a concern. These model 3os also came either with a locked mechanism or a flip switch one without a lock.
Multipost Stamp Affixer – Rivals
Rivals to the Multipost included the Kendall, Postamper, Simplex, Standard, Fixo and Wizard. The Kendall and Wizard Stamp Affixers looked very similar. The Postamper, Simplex, Standard and Multiplex all have similar designs.
The Standard Stamp Affixer was made by the Standard Mailing Machines Company. It looks very similar to the Multipost Stamp Affixer. Instead of a squared off plunder rode, it has a twisted spiral rod. The side of the unit has an exposed area showing the inner workings of the device.
The Simplex Stamp Affixer looks something out of steampunk. There are a host of gears on the outside of the device. It has the look of the Multipost Stamp Affixer, but with exposed gears. I think this might be the coolest looking stamp affixer out of the bunch. The patent date was around October 28, 1908.
The Postamper Affixer looks like a beefier version of the Multiplex. It has thick round plunder rod and appears to be a little chunky. It was produced by Postamper Company out of Chicago.
The Kendall Stamp Affixer had a plunger lock, stamp register (number counter) that you couldn’t reverse. These were made by the Kendall Manufacturing Company out of Boston Massachusetts. The Stamp machines were first built around 1917-1918. It looks similar to the Wizard Stamp Affixer.
The Wizard Stamp Affixer chose a slightly different look. The one we have has patent dates of 1912 and 1913.
Multipost Stamp Affixer – Estimating Value
Doing research on the Multipost is much easier than probably any other Stamp Affixer out there. I am assuming this is because they were more successful than any other manufacture and probably more prevalent. Most people don’t really know exactly what these were used for and as such often are priced much less than they should be. Typical prices for the later versions (1920-1940) retail for about $30-$50. Earlier models are a crap shoot. They are of course harder to find, but often are priced about the same as later models. A pristine condition Multipost Stamp Affixer can sell for $100-$150. The easiest place to find these is on Ebay and sometimes on Esty. It seems about once a month these show up.
If you can find one with keys it is an added bonus. If you can find one with stamps it is even better, because they will probably be from the late 20’s to 40’s.
One neat feature to the Multipost Stamp Affixer is the inclusion of a counter on the front of the machine. Every time the plunger is depressed the counter increases by one. We weren’t sure how to reset this number, since we didn’t have access to the inner workings of the machine. Ours read 3,900 before I started messing with it.
Another neat aspect to the Multipost Stamp Affixer is the inclusion of a little plastic or metal knob, depending on model, on the front of the machine. It unscrews, allowing water to be added to a reserve tank. Water from the tank is then used to moisten the stamp prior to being aplied. Pretty Cool Right!
Earlier models of the Multipost Stamp Affixer slightly differ from ours. Here are some pictures of an older model (possibly a model 1 or 2). As you can see, the sides were exposed, rather than covered up.
So far we have been able to find 4 different variations to the Multipost Stamp Affixer. The earliest Multipost Stamp Affixer model that we know of was called model 1 and is pictured below.
Here are some photos of a Multipost Stamp Affixer that doesn’t use a key. The Model 30 Multipost Stamp Affixer has a flip switch that opens the back. It is also missing the counter in that is normally in the front.
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