THE PRE-JAPANESE OCCUPATION POSTAL FRANKING MACHINES OF MALAYA
D.R.M. Holley A List of meters & numbers
full detailed and illustrated article is in The Malayan Philatelist No 242, Vol
49 No. 3, July –September 2008
The 1927 Annual Report of the Post & Telegraph Department of the Straits Settlements states that Postal Frankers were first used in the Colony in June, 1927, and the figures below indicate they came into use in the Federated Malay States at about the same time.
numbers of machines in columns 2 and 4 are cumulative.
have never found a record or evidence of the licensing of a postal franker in
the Unfederated Malay States, viz. Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and
The complete list of those that I have in my collection (with dates) and the firms that licensed them is as follows:
M.1 Baker, Morgan & Co., stockbrokers, Kuala Lumpur. 1927. The meter stamp is dated 26.7.27, the earliest I possess.
M.2 Evatt & Co., Penang. 1934.
M.3 The Kwong Yik (Selangor) Banking Corporation Ltd., Kuala Lumpur. 1932. With slogan. Figure 5.
M.5 The Straits Echo, Penang. Dated during WW2.
M.6 Henry Waugh & Co., Penang. 1929. Also Malayan Collieries Ltd., Kuala Lumpur. 1938. Figures 3 & 4.
M.7 Indragiri Rubber Ltd., Singapore. 1933.
M.8 Singapore Cold Storage Co., Ltd. (Ipoh Branch) 1936. With slogan. Figure 6.
M.10 John Little & Co., Ltd., Singapore. 1936. With slogan.
M.11 The Straits Times. Singapore. 1932. With slogan.
M.14 Mansfield & Company, Singapore. 1931. Also Mansfield &
Company, Penang. 1938 & 1939. Latter with slogan. The one without
slogan is shown at Figure 7.
M.18 E.B. Evans & Co., Singapore. 1929 (2). One with, the other
M.26 Rennie, Lowick & Co., Singapore. 1936 & 1937.
M.27 The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company, Ltd., Singapore. 1935.
M.29 Licensee unknown. Singapore. 1937.
M.32 V.R. Vick & Co., Singapore. 1934. Midget Agents. Figure 2.
The earliest Neopost I have on cover is dated 22 July 1930 but the machine which made it was numbered N.17 so either there was an early rush for Neoposts or they were not commissioned in ascending number order as the Midgets appeared to be. The details of my meagre list are as follows:
N.1 Straits Java Trading Co., Singapore. 1936.
Ardath Tobacco Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1930.
N.20 Guthrie & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1932.
unknown. Seremban. 1939. With slogan. Figure 11.
N.28 The Dunlop Rubber Co. (S.S.) Ltd., Singapore. 1941.
Of the five licensees listed above the only one that switched to a Universal that I have evidence of is Guthrie & Co., Ltd., Singapore.
sum total of Universal meter stamps in my possession, with their licensees, is
U.1 Guthrie & Co. Ltd., Kuala Lumpur. 1936
& 1937. Figures 14 & 15.
U.2 United Engineers Ltd., Singapore. 1936 &
U.3 Henry Waugh & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1936.
U.4 Robinson & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1941.
U.5 Guthrie & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1935 &
1941. Both with slogans.
U.6 Netherlands Trading Society, Singapore. 1936
& 1937. Figures 12 & 13.
U.7 East Asiatic Co., Singapore. 1935 & 1937.
U.8 Fraser & Neave Ltd., Singapore. 1935
& 1940. Both with same slogan.
U.9 Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation, Ltd.,
Singapore. With slogan.
U.10 General Electric Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1936 & 1938.
U.11 Kodak Limited, Singapore. 1937.
U.12 Singapore Cold Storage Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1936.
U.13 Henry Waugh & Co., Ltd., Penang.
U.14 Dunlop Malayan Estates Ltd., Malacca. 1941.
U.15 Joseph Travers & Sons Ltd., Singapore. 1941.
U.16 Evatt & Co., Singapore. 1938.
U.17 Mansfield & Company, Singapore.
U.20 Kennedy, Burkill & Co. Ltd., Penang. 1937.
U.21 Nestle & Anglo-Swiss Milk Products Ltd., Singapore.
U.22 McAlister & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1941.
U.23 Harrisons Barker & Co., Singapore. 1941.
U.24 Anglo-Oriental (Malaya) Ltd., Kuala Lumpur. 1937 &
1939. Figure 17.
U.25 Licensee unknown. Singapore. 1937.
U.26 Rennie, Lowick & Co., Hongkong Bank Chambers,
U.27 Gibson, Anderson, Butler & Co., Kuala Lumpur.
U.30 Great Eastern
Life Assurance Limited, Singapore. 1939.
U.31 The New Zealand Insurance Company, Ltd., Singapore.
U.32 William Jacks & Co. (Malaya) Ltd. 1941.
U.34 Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Singapore.
1946. As this meter is of the
type (i.e. 'Straits Settlements' included) it is presumed
the H &
SBC was the pre-Occupation licensee
U.35 The Borneo Company Ltd., Singapore. 1941.
U.37 William Jacks & Co. (Malaya) Ltd., Ipoh. 1941.
U.40 Sime, Darby & Co. Ltd., Singapore. 1942.
will be noticed that most of the gaps come in the second half of the list, i.e.
amongst the higher licence numbers. This
I feel sure is because they were in use for a shorter period and I think it is
noticeable how many examples I have which are dated in 1940/41 when I suspect
the Malayan Government was anxious to economise on adhesive stamps and were
encouraging the use of franking machines
Meter Postage Stamps of Malaya”. Article
in The Philatelic Magazine dated 20 November 1942 (Vol. 50, No. 11 – Whole
No. 715). Author unknown.
Years of Postal Franking Machines.” Pamphlet produced by the G.P.O. to celebrate the 50th
Anniversary of the introduction of Postal
Franking Machines in U.K. 1922-72.
Backdrop.” Article in Gibbons
Stamp Monthly dated February 2000.