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Experimental Forms of Separation:
The Archer Roulette


Henry Archer, an  Irish businessman, presented the British Government with an easy method for the separation of postage stamps.  I read recently on a web site biography about Sir Roland Hill that he was not very flexible about further developments of the postage stamp outside of the perimeters he set in his own scheme.  However true or false this comment is it took nearly a decade to get past the scissors and tearing method of separation.  Archer provided his plan onto the Postmaster-General, and from there it passed through the British bureaucracy and further experimentation,  finally meeting with approval.  One point of interest is that the first offer they made was for £500.  He was indignant at this offer and finally settled for £5000.00.
 

 

Vertical Pair of the Archer roulette,  Plate 70



 
 

Both of Henry Archer's early experiments with two rouletting machines were considered failures, but of one of the experiments, a few examples have survived.  They are rouletted 11-1/2, but are generally referred to as  gauge 12 roulette.  Archer conducted his experiment with rouletting on stamps produced from Plate 70 and 71 in 1848.   The above example is from plate 70.
 
 

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