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it's the - imperfect - little perforations...

12/20/05 01:17 am - it's the - imperfect - little perforations...

that aren't.

perforation was invented a hundred and fifty years ago by an irishman who sold his patents to the uk government, and spent a couple of years further on designing & perfecting a machine to comb-perforate sheets of stamps without getting clogged up by all the little bits of paper produced in making the holes; prior to that, stamps had to be cut from the sheet using scissors (or a sharp knife), and so had (more-or-less straight edges - and rolls of stamp-machine stamps used to have two straight edges, as they only needed to be separated from those before & after them in the roll, until fairly recently.

but books of stamps (& many sheets of stamps) are nowadays not made by printing whole sheets of dry, lickable-gum-backed stamps and then running them through a comb-perforator, but with a peelably-sticky back, and mounted separately from one another on the glossy backing-paper:


so why do they have scolloped, imitation perforated edges on them?

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