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Fred Sellars04/01/2020 14:27:08
575 forum posts
242 photos


I find it strange that after proclaiming that only white paper would be used to print their stamps post 1962 , they go and use stamp paper residue intended for 1961 commemoratives to print stamps issued in 1963 such as the 3d Isle of Man regional, how organised is that ?

Fred Sellars05/01/2020 21:33:24
575 forum posts
242 photos


The first QE ll stamps on a coated paper based on a comment made in the SG specialised volume 3 appears to be that of the 3d GLO issued on the 7th of July 1960, as it quotes the following :-

" Part of the printing of the 3d was made on chalk-surfaced paper "

But does not appear to list them as a separate printing,yet, the 2/- holiday booklet stamps i.e. the ½d+2½d definitives had separate listings.

How contrary is that ?

Surely ! What's good for the goose should also be good for the gander .

Fred Sellars06/01/2020 10:08:21
575 forum posts
242 photos

If more than one type of paper has been used for a particular stamp or issue, then it should be listed as a variety and priced as such.

It's quite obvious to me that with the 3d General Letter Office amounts of both the coated and uncoated was not printed/issued in equal proportions.

The same should also apply to all the different types of paper used.

CREAM. Officially produced up to 1962

COATED. Found on stamps printed from 1960 ( both cream and whiter papers)

WHITER. Officially produced from 1962 onwards ( after water filtration )

FLUORESCENT FIBRES Found in stamps printed from 1965 onwards ( due to OBA'S )

FLUORESCENT. As yet unsubstantiated as to first usage ( additional amounts of OBA'S )

If all the different types of phosphors can be listed including their widths, then the papers should also come under further scrutiny/investigation and should be included in specialised catalogues .


Edited By Fred Sellars on 06/01/2020 10:11:59

Fred Sellars11/01/2020 15:16:36
575 forum posts
242 photos

img_20200109_182703.jpgANOTHER REASON FOR WHITER PAPERS !

All of the paper produced for British postage stamps during the Wilding period was produced at the paper mill located in a small town by the name of Ivybridge in South Devon, during its production the paper was under strict supervision by the GPO relating to quality control and security.

One of the main constituents of the paper was made from discarded rags and some of the employees known as (rag girls) was given the task of removing buttons, zips and any other contaminants that may have been present.

By using rags, it would appear over a period of time the use of detergents (high in optical brightening agents) was an ever-increasing problem in the rag supplied, and that the cream paper produced helped to enhance their presence in the form of fluorescent specks/fibres after the ragging had gone through the pulp stage, as some of the high detergent ragging was responsible and was therefore contaminating the paper with fluorescent fibres.

This MUST have been noticed in the quality control department of the GPO and would have been of a considerable concern as they were undesirable.

An early version of the contamination can be seen in the 3d FRB of 1964 and a greater contamination in the 1965 4d BoB stamp paper.

TO BE CONTINUED ............



Edited By Fred Sellars on 11/01/2020 15:20:55

Fred Sellars18/01/2020 09:54:38
575 forum posts
242 photos



It'll all come out in the wash (pardon the pun) , but in this instance it was the reverse that was the problem .

Very little has been mentioned by the GPO with regards to the contaminants (fluorescent fibres) it's all been kept a bit under wraps, nevertheless, it would have been an embarrassment due to the length of time it took to rectify the situation ( 3 years? ) , is it any wonder why they kept it so quiet unlike the declaration of 1962 from cream to whiter papers.

If the GPO had been perturbed because of the differences in the cream paper think of what the fluorescent particles would have meant as they were much more prominent than the previous cream variations encountered, filtering the water would be of little use to remove this type of contamination.

TO BE CONTINUED ..........

Edited By Fred Sellars on 18/01/2020 09:56:33

Fred Sellars23/01/2020 21:30:58
575 forum posts
242 photos


There must have been several options open to them, either remove the offending fluorescent fibres by means of oxidisation or to camouflage/mask them in order not to be noticed by the use of additional optical brightening agents whilst the rag was still in the pulp stage .

It is presumed that the whiter paper was required for the Automatic Letter Facing section of the system (A L F) as this was just one of the various processes for the system as a whole to work .

After many trials and tribulations, the GPO eventually managed to acquire a paper suitable for the task in hand, this is due to the fact that all pre-decimal Machins do not display any fluorescent fibres whatsoever due to the masking technique that was finally adopted to resolve the problem previously encountered .

Due to my observations, I believe that over several years in the production of the multiple crown Wilding papers both removal and masking was attempted at various stages in order to rectify the problem encountered, finalising with the masking technique that was used on the early Machins .

TO BE CONTINUED .............

Fred Sellars31/01/2020 13:36:46
575 forum posts
242 photos


There are indications that in some embodiments a method was used for the removal of the fluorescent fibres (OBA'S) to avoid cross contamination of the offending fibres that contained OBA'S .

One of the most common chemicals used in the production of detergents since the 1940s has involved the use of stilbene dyes in order to get that whiter than white effect often mentioned in various advertisements for this type of product, and this was the problem encountered with some of the rags used at the paper mill,as they were the source of contamination, the (rag girls) could do little to remove this type of contaminant unlike the buttons and zips sometimes attached .

Therefore it was imperative that the removal of these offending fluorescent fibres be found, as their ever increasing prominence was apparent as time went by .

TO BE CONTINUED ..........

Fred Sellars06/02/2020 11:26:38
575 forum posts
242 photos


A substance that is also added in the manufacture of these papers was the inclusion of China clay, otherwise known as kaolin named after a hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it was mined, this is a silicate containing aluminium Al²(Si²O5)(OH)⁴ and is used as a filler which gives bulk/structure to the paper and also gives additional whiteness and fluorescence to the finished product .


Fred Sellars11/02/2020 10:18:20
575 forum posts
242 photos



In the last few days fluorescent papers have been discovered on several regional values that have not been previously listed in specialised catalogues, the ones concerned are the 3d Wales (non-phos) and the Northern Ireland 1/3d values .

Are these stamps missing from your collection ? Along with the catalogue listings, they are easily identified under long wave ultraviolet light and are as different as chalk and cheese in comparison .

Here is the latest picture of the 3d values, first issued on the 18th of August 1958 (over 61 years ago, they are as follows :-img_20200210_131344.jpg(1) The original cream paper on cylinder 1 dot (as listed in the SG specialised volume 3).

(2) The fluorescent paper variety, could be either cylinder 2 or 3 (NOT LISTED)

(3) A white(r) paper than the original cream on cylinder 3 dot (as listed in the SG specialised volume 3)



Fred Sellars12/02/2020 12:24:17
575 forum posts
242 photos

The definition relating to the 3d Welsh regionals in my last posting of this thread can also be applied to these 1/3d Northern Ireland stamps, in which three different papers have been used to print them.img_20200130_200509.jpg

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