While there are numerous types of perforated stamps, with anywhere from seven to 16 1/2 perforations in the space of two centimeters, there are really only three types of imperforate U.S. stamps. The first are those issued before 1857, when the first three-cent stamps bearing the profile of George Washington were printed by Toppan & Carpenter of Philadelphia and perforated using a rotary perforating machine manufactured by Bemrose & Co. of Derby, England. The second type of imperforates are errors, or stamps that were intended to be perforated but somehow managed to slip through the machinery unscathed.

A third class of imperforate stamps encompasses those issued between 1907 and 1927 on imperforate coils, which were designed for, and sold to, private vending companies such as Brinkerhoff, Farwell, Schermack (which became Mailometer), and U.S. Automatic Vending. The machines made by these companies perforated the stamps for customers as they were dispensed. In some cases, completely imperforate stamps can be found from these rolls, but many have circular or “hyphen-hole” perforations between each stamp, with no perforations on the outside edges. U.S. Automatic Vending was known for its notched stamps, in which the corners of stamps were cut off to make them easier to tear.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Us Imperf Sc # 1a 1847 5c Mint H Cat $8750Usa #5052 Error Imperf & Missing Color Strip Of 7 With Partial Plate #b11 Xf Nh1917 Wwi Patriotic Thompson Private Overprint War Stamp On Imperf Pair **rareMr Fancy Cancel Vf++ 371 Cover Imperf Pair Cover Tied Philadelphia Cds Cv$52 OffScott #11 Used 1850's George Washington Imperf Plated On ReverseUsa #5052 Error Imperf & Missing Color Strip Of 4 In Transition Strip Of 7 Xf NhU.s. #409 Mint Nh Plate Block - 2c Carmine, Imperf ($57)Ckstamps: Us Stamps Collection Scott#3535 34c Error Mint Nh Imperf On 10th StampUsa Stamp #483 3c Violet Washington Imperf 1916 Mh/ogU.s. #17 Used - 12c Black, Imperf ($250)Mr Fancy Cancel Scott 346 Mnh 4c Imperf Pair Vf++ Cv$62.50Hawaii 19th Century King Kamehameha Unused Specimen Imperf StampScott#346, 4c Orange Brown Imperf, Schermack Ty Iii 3mm.U.s. #900a Mint Nh - 2c Victory, Imperf BetweenCkstamps: Us Stamps Collection Scott#3205 32c Error Mint Nh Imperf On 10th StampUs 4905b Circus Imperf Ndc Souvenir Sheet Mnh 2014 (imperfect, Discounted)Us #5052a New Bca Flag Sarce Imperf & Missing Color Coil Pair. Efo/error Xf MnhWashington-franklin Imperf Group Lot 5415Us #5052a New Bca Flag Sarce Imperf Coil Pair. Efo/error Xf Mnh1c Imperf Franklin # 9 Type 4 On 1854 F/l Ny City Drop LetterUsa Stamp #483 3c Violet Washington Imperf 1916 Machine Perf On PaperCkstamps: Us Stamps Collection Scott#3307 33c Error Mint Nh Imperf On 10th StampNystamps G Old Us Bob Revenue Stamp Imperf & Part Perf Collection Scott Album PgScott 13 Fine Used 10c Washington Imperf, 1851 Type I Issue, Cv $6001851 1cent Franklin Imperf S# 7, Used Nh, Poor Cut, (great Filler Stamp!)Usa #5052 Error Imperf & Missing Color Strip Of 8 Xf Nh End Of RollUsa #5052 Error Imperf & Missing Color Pair Xf NhU.s. #1297a//1305eg Mint Nh - 1c - 15c Imperf Pairs ($65)Us #1338u Vert Pair Imperf Horizontal With Margin 6c Nh Error Flag RareUs Stamps # 286 Imperf Pr W/ Pl# Vf Og Vlh Imprt Pair W/ Pl# Scott Value $60.00Us #1701a Mnh Vf Efo: Imperf Pair, Scott $85Us #540a Mh Efo: Imperf Between Block Of 4, Scott $120Ckstamps: Us Stamps Collection Scott#3392 33c Error Mint Nh Imperf On 10th StampOld Us Stamps 1916-22 Washington Franklin Imperf And Coil Perf 10 IssuesUsa Stamp #383 1c Green Imperf. 1910 Used Machine PerfUsa Stamp #11a 3c Washington Imperf . 1851-57 Used Thin Spot Old Us Stamps 1908-09 Washington Franklin Imperf IssuesUsa Stamp #11 3c Washington Imperf . 1851-57 UsedUsa Stamp #344 2c Carmine Imperf 1908 Used Machine PerfUs #534 2c Offset Printing Imperf. Type Va Used StampUsa Stamp #11 3c Washington Imperf . 1851-57 Used Noblespirit No Reserve (th1) Bold Fresh Us 540a Mh Vertical Imperf Pair = $60 CvU.s. #531, 535 Mint Vf Nh - 1c - 3c Offset ImperfsU.s. #1402a//2609a Mint Nh - 8c - 29c Imperf Coil Pairs ($77)Sb1 Stamps - 1c Franklin Imperf; Sc. 9; Vf+3535 Porky Pig *imperf Die Cut* 34c Mint Superb-nh SheetUs #1842a Mnh Vf Efo: Imperf Pair, Scott $45Us #1768a Mnh Vf Efo: Imperf Pair, Scott $75Scott#2609a, 29c Flag, Imperf Coil Strip Of 4. Vf & Nh.Us #1804 Mnh Vf Efo: Imperf, Printer's WasteScott #1509 Draped Flags Nh Strip Left Pair Imperf Between ErrorUsa Stamp #11a 3c Washington Imperf . 1851-57 UsedLf92549 Usa Imperf Philatelic Exhibition Good Sheet MnhLf94451 Usa Imperf Byrd Antarctic Expedition Ii Sheet MhScott#610-612, 2c Harding, Perf 11, Imperf, & Perf 10.f/vfOld Us Stamps 1912 Washington Franklin Imperf And Coil Perf 8½ Issues3392 Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner *imperf Die Cut* 33c Mint Superb-nh SheetUs 1906 1¢ Imperf Benjamin Franklin Scott 314 Mh Cat. $15. Free Us ShippingNoblespirit No Reserve (th1) Incredible Us Po Seals Ox9 Var Mint Vf ImperfScott#576 1 1/2c. Unused Nh Og Imperf. Block Of 6 Crease Line Fault