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Author: Subject: CTOs
RSFSR
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[*] posted on 11/10/2009 at 21:51
CTOs


I have always been curious about the way CTOs were produced ... how were the cancels applied? Were some done manually or were they all done by machine?

Also ...

When the number of stamps produced is noted in the various catalogs, does this accurately include the number of CTOs?
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Alep
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[*] posted on 11/14/2009 at 05:55


It depends on what particular stamps do you mean. I suppose it is the USSE CTO stamps you have in mind.
Indeed, this practice started in the 2nd half of 1930's. Up to 1960's, such stamps were offered mostly inside small paper packets contained usually 25 stamps and sold at philatelic stores, philatelic sections of bookstores as well as at newspaper stands etc. Later on (earlier as well), such stamps were sold cheaply as complete sets.
The stamps were cancelled in sheets at the so-called Kogiz (this name was later repeatedly changed) Philatelic Office in Moscow by hand (not machine) cancellers specially ordered and manufactured, similar to those used at post offices but not available there.These CTO stamps can be often distinguished by the intact glue on the reverse. The people who did this work were not too bright in the philately, so e.g. fantails and other errors could be found in these packets. Also the stamps of Tannu-Touva and Mongolia were cancelled and distributed in this manner.
Of course, the number of stamps indicated in the catalogs is the total number of stamps issued, inc. the CTOs.
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[*] posted on 11/15/2009 at 03:32


Also earlier cases of CTOs can be mentioned. For instance, the RSFSR stamps "Philately for Children" and "Philately for Workers" were cancelled to order on pieces and sold in this condition. The imperforated "Gold standard" stamps never available at post offices (SG 348-350,352, 353, 355-357 and 430a-446a, 447b-448b, 449c, 450a; not in Scott) were sold as CTOs through the State philatelic trade.
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Fergana
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smile.gif posted on 11/16/2009 at 13:43


An interesting question and most informative answer. Thank you.
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RSFSR
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[*] posted on 11/16/2009 at 14:26


Thank you 'Alep'.

It was interesting to find out that these cancellations were done manually. I have a few sheets of CTOs and the cancels were all well placed (on the intersection of four stamps), although in some cases (C37-9, for example), the cancellations are always (at least on all the examples I have) between two stamps (i.e. in the center of the long side).

I wonder if they (the people who applied the cancellations) ever made a mistake and some stamps were not cancelled, or in some cases they had to apply an additional cancellation? Surely there must have been some mistakes?

Do you know if the finished work went through an inspection?

One other question ... do you know why different cancellations were used on the same stamp?

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[*] posted on 11/17/2009 at 19:05


If you look at multiple full (or partial) sheets of CTO stamps from 1930s-40s it becomes obvious that these are manual cancels applied according to some "standard operating procedure". People were told to apply cancels to corners in order to "minimize number of hits" (one cancel touches 4 stamps). In some cases there was definitely instruction to make cancellation in the center of the stamp (Civil Aviation issue (Scott # C40-C49) of mid 30s is a good example).

I've never seen in my life CTO stamp with double cancel. So, I am assuming that there was some "quality control" in place.

There are absolutely multiple types of cancellations used for stamps: Moscow, Riga, Tashkent comes to mind and different cancellers/dates even from the same city.
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[*] posted on 12/2/2009 at 03:13


I would like to add also that as from the 1970's the stamps were printed in the printing shop in sheets together with the cancels (!) to be sold through the state philatelic trade as 'used'. One can regard it as a direct fraud on the state level.
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