Hansen-Krag Machines:
Norwegian Postmarking Machines
in Czarist Russia
By Frederick A. Brofos
[From Machine Cancel Forum April 2005]

Updated October 1, 2006

In the early years, one of the best customers for the Hansen-Krag postmarking machine was the Imperial Russian Postal Service. Russia was then under the rule of Czar Nicholas II. Life was different then, before the onslaught of the Red Revolution. The actual machine made in Norway then probably have not survived the war.

However, certain die proofs exist, which show what things looked liked, since complete covers are now seldom found. Some years ago, I saved them when they were unappreciated and about to be thrown out!

The dates are mostly haphazard settings, so do not be mislead.

The machines without cancelling lines were used for backstamping/receiving marks. Krag supplied various kinds of postmarking machines: hand-cranked, by foot-pedal, and motor-driven.

In 1906, three machines were sent to Saint Petersburg. In 1907, two were sent to Mokva (Moscow). In 1911 a machine for Kiew (Kiev) was redone to make the letters in the name thicker than on the proof. In 1907/08 six machines were sent, to destination unknown. In 1912 a machine was sent to each of the cities of Grodno and Nishni-Novgorod. In 1912 a machine was sent to Irkutsk. Then in 1913, three more machines were sent, to destinations unknown. Finally in 1915, one machine was sent to Libau, and three to Charkow.

As will be noted from reviewing the following proofs, there is not a proof for every town mentioned.

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