Archer Roulette

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Archer Experimental Roulette

Henry Archer, an Irish London businessman, presented the British Government with an easy means of separating postage stamps. His plan, which was submitted to the Postmaster General on October 1, 1847, was referred to the departments of the post office and after receiving final approval, Archer's patents were purchased in June 1853.


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In 1854 the United Kingdom first officially issued perforated stamps. Previously, the stamps were issued imperforate and had to be separated by cutting or tearing the stamps apart.

Henry Archer built two rouletting machines. After experimentation both machines proved to be failures. From one machine a few stamps have survived. This machine consisted of lancet-shaped blades working on a fly-press principle and piercing the paper with a series of cuts. The vertical pair shown is from Plate 70.