A "double double" cover
Why are there two stamps on this bulk rate cover?
First, this cover is most likely an example of "false franking". False franking is defined as the use of low value stamps for a bulk mailing with balance due in lump sum at time of mailing. These stamps with an unshown face value of 5¢ were most likely less than the Christian Brothers paid to mail the 1.25 ounce letter. Marketing/advertising studies have shown that people will open envelopes with "real stamps" more often than envelopes with a printed indicium. The studies also show that multiple stamps also increase the "open rate" of a mailing. Thus the two stamps, where one would have worked. An interesting sidenote is that what looks like a return address label is actually printed on the envelope.
Second, the stamp on the right is a plate number coil.
For another example of multiple stamps on a bulk business cover, see "Three of a Kind."
Thanks to Ken Srail, Chip G., and Dave P. from the Stamp Chat board for some of the information above.
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This page last updated: 02-Oct-2004