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Preparation of Mail for Dispatch
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The  backdating  of  the  postmark  on  mail  is expressly  forbidden,  except  when  a  specific  written authorization is granted to provide philatelic treatment on a new stamp issue beyond the issuance date.  Such authority is extended only when public demand for a specific  first-day  issue  exceeds  daily  cancellation capabilities.  Never backdate mail even for a friend. POSTMARKING EQUIPMENT The USPS furnishes all canceling machine dies, hand  postmarking  and  canceling  equipment. Canceling machine dies and postmarking stamps must contain the legend U.S. Navy and the FPO number or name of the ship and hull number as applicable as well as  the  month,  day,  and  year.    Only  USPS-supplied black ink is to be used for canceling and postmarking purposes. APPLYING THE POSTMARK If you are on a large ship or at a shore activity, you may  have  a  canceling  machine  (see  figure  9-9). However,  most  ships  and  small  commands  use  the hand canceller because the volume of outgoing mail does not warrant the use of a canceling machine.  Do not  postmark  over  the  stamp(s).    If  more  than  one stamp has been used, cancel the stamp farthest to the left  and  those  to  the  right  of  it  with  the  tips  of  the canceling bars.  Cancel the last stamp to the left with the postmark and canceling bars, and ensure that the postmark  does  not  hit  the  stamp  (see  figure  9-10). When postmarking and canceling mail:    The date of mailing (month, day, and year) must be included in all postmarking devices.    The a.m. or p.m. indicator must not be used in any postmarking device. PHILATELIC CANCELLATIONS Occasionally  you  will  receive  a  request  from collectors  to  apply  a  postmark  on  certain  stamped cards and envelopes.   It is in the best interest of the Navy to provide this service to philatelists because of the public relations value. A philatelist is a person who collects  and/or  studies  postage  stamps. Philatelic service must be carried out within the resources of your post office and should not be provided if it interferes with  regular  business. The  USPS  will  release 9-21 PCf0909 Figure 9-9.—An example of a canceling machine. N 22 20 20 20 N 1 NOV 1 NOV 2000 2000 POSTMARKED AND CANCELED BY CANCELING MACHINE. PCf0910 Figure 9-10.—Examples of canceled stamps by canceling machine and hand device.

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