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Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.

Cream and whiter papers.

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Fred Sellars08/11/2019 10:46:32
205 forum posts
67 photos

My benchmark to distinguish the difference between cream and white(r) papers is as follows :-

If a stamp paper does not fluoresce under ultraviolet light it cannot be classified as a white(r) paper, due to the fact that a white(r) paper is created by the inclusion of optical brightening agents in its production, either by the rags used or direct as an additive in the pulp stage .

If the paper does not react to the ultraviolet test it cannot be classified as a white(r) paper due to the fact it is void of optical brightening agents, therefore it is a cream paper whether by error or design .

Fred Sellars10/11/2019 16:55:02
205 forum posts
67 photos

The production for the papers of the multiple crown Wilding stamps was given to Wiggins Teape at their Stowford paper mill, located in Ivybridge South Devon .

A short film regarding the production of paper at the mill was made in 1962 showing the various stages of how the paper was produced, along with various 'dandy rolls' for watermarking .

Some text is also included, giving a brief history, and can be found on :-

It's nice to see what happened 57 years ago !

Fred Sellars13/11/2019 15:52:44
205 forum posts
67 photos

Due to the demand by the GPO for white(r) papers to be produced for their stamps, and with the additional use of bleaches (OBA'S) to produce them, by 1963 an effluent plant was in use in order to prevent the river from being polluted, as previously the wastewater from the mill had been directly discharged back into the river Erme .

Previous complaints had also been made by the local inhabitants with regards to the amount of smoke emitted from the mills chimney as an environmental concern .

Fred Sellars15/11/2019 15:20:10
205 forum posts
67 photos

To ensure a consistency and continuity of the colour of the white papers, rags alone ( even if they did contain brightening agents ) could not be relied on, and was not a main factor for consistency .

The white paper produced for the stamps at Stowford mill had to have OBA'S added and this is how you can tell the difference between the cream and white papers of the Wilding stamps produced at that time by the use of a longwave ultraviolet light, they cannot be determined solely by the issue date .


Edited By Fred Sellars on 15/11/2019 15:21:37

Fred Sellars17/11/2019 13:51:27
205 forum posts
67 photos

You will find a similar version of this posting in the December issue of the the Modern British Philatelic Circle's "Bookmark" journal, if you are a member .

With philately there is always something new to be found and I hope that you have been enlightened with my findings so far, in this posting .

Have a nice day and thank you for viewing ,Fred .

Edited By Fred Sellars on 17/11/2019 14:03:14

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