Worcester Wessons


Worcester Wesson Time-On-Bottom Markings


The series of Worcester cancels that I find of special interest is the Wesson Time-On-Bottom cancels, or Wesson TOB's. The Wesson TOB's were named after Mr Walter D Wesson of Providence, Rhode Island, who was issued patents for an innovative type of duplex postmarking device in which the Month, Day, Year and Time was displayed and could be changed by removing and inserting the appropriate slugs in holes in the holder on the cancel handle. The very first Wesson TOB was used in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Wessons were used in many other cities during the Banknote Period, but there are several aspects of the Worcester Wessons that are unique to that city. All other cities in which Wesson TOB's were used are represented by variations of only Type 2 Wesson dials. In a Type 2 Dial, the city name is shown in an arc at the top of the Dial and the state abbreviation is shown in a straight line across the middle of the Dial. Worcester, too, had Type 2 Dials. But Worcester was the only city to use Type 1 Dials as well as Type 2 Dials. In a Type 1 Wesson Dial, both the city name and the state abbreviation are shown in concentric arcs at the top of the Dial. Type 1 Worcester Wesson Dials were the only Dials used in combination with hand-carved Killers, denoted as Type X Killers. Wesson Type 1 Dials are also futher classified as Type 1A Dials and Type 1B Dials, with the Type 1A having four holes in which to mount the day slugs as opposed to the Type 1B Dials which only had one hole to mount the day slug. Dates on Wesson TOB's are shown in the numerical "Quaker" format of MM-DD-YY. So a Wesson TOB postmark used on July 2, 1881 would be shown as 7-02-81 on a Type 1A Dial and 7-2-81 on a Type 1B Dial.

The Type 2 Dials were used with three standard Duplex Killers. They included a "C" inside a horizontal-barred barrel, a "D" inside a verical-barred barrel and a "W" inside a horizontal-barred barrel. The Type 2 Dials were also used with two Service Markings that are unique to Worcester. These Service Markings were "RECEIVED" and "TRANSIT" and were normally found as backstamps. One on Wesson's patent drawings depicted an additional Service Marking "MISSENT" but this marking has never been reported and was probably never manufactured.

Dial varieties exist for the Type 2 dials. These are differentiated by the location of the "M" of "MASS" in relationship to the first "R" of "WORCESTER" and are called by me as Types 2-B and 2-T, the letters "T" and "B" identifying whether an imaginary extension of the left leg of the "M" hits the "Bar" or the "Tail" of the first "R" of Worcester. All combinations of Type 2 Dials and Duplex Killers/Service Markings have been now been recorded.

I would welcome any and all reports of Type 1A and Type 1B Dials with all Type X, or carved, Killers in order to expand my database of Wesson Killers and dates-of-use.


The first image is of a Type X Wesson TOB cancel with a Type 1A, or 4-hole date Dial with the slugs for July 02, 1881. It has a carved Killer of a negative "N" in a solid circle. This cancel is the Earliest Known Use (EKU) of a Wesson cancel.

There is a selection of more Type X Killers at the very bottom of this page.


Worcester Wesson EKU

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
Earliest Known Use
July 02 1881


The next image is of a Wesson TOB cancel with a Type 2-B dial and a H-(C) duplex elliptical killer.


Wesson TOB Type 2-B - H-(C)

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 2-B Dial
Type H-(C) Killer
July 19 1883


The next image is of a Wesson TOB cancel with a Type 2-T dial and a V-(D) duplex elliptical killer.


Wesson TOB Type 2-T - V-(D)

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 2-T Dial
Type V-(D) Killer
January 27 1885


The third image is of a Wesson TOB cancel with a Type 2-B dial and a H-(W) duplex elliptical killer.


Wesson TOB Type 2-B - H-(W)

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 2-B Dial
Type H-(W) Killer
April 07 1883


The next image is of a Wesson TOB "RECEIVED" Service Marking with a Type 2-B Dial. This is a very scarce marking!


Wesson RECEIVED Service Marking

Worcester
Wesson TOB Service Marking
RECEIVED
Type 2-B Dial
January 12 1888
Scarce Marking!


The next image is of a pair of Wesson TOB "TRANSIT" Service Markings, both with Type 2-T Dials, which have been struck on the back of the same envelope on different days as the letter made its way back and forth through the Worcester Post Office. Wesson "TRANSIT" markings are especially rare. This example, with two strikes of this elusive and desireable cancel on the same cover, and on different days, is exceedingly rare and unusual.


Wesson TRANSIT Service Marking

Worcester
Wesson TOB Service Marking
Double TRANSIT
Type 2-T Dial
July 08 1888 And July 09 1888
Very Rare Marking In Unusual Usage!


As I mentioned previously, Worcester Wesson TOB's are a very important part of my studies of Worcester Postal History. Please check your collection of Banknote Era Fancy Cancels and see if you don't find a Wesson or two hiding in there. I would like to assemble all the information I can about these wonderful cancels. All reports are welcome. But I am most interested in obtaining good, clean photocopies of all Type 1A and Type 1B dials with all the varieties and dates-of-use of the Type X carved killers! Please Email me, Bob Track, with any Worcester Wesson information that you would share with me.


Below are a few more examples of Worcester Wesson TOBs with Type X killers.


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
October 17 1883


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
August 10 1881


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
June 14 1881


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
November 21 1881


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
March 30 1882


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
July 13 1882


Worcester Wesson Type X

Worcester
Wesson TOB Duplex Cancel
Type 1A Dial
Type X Killer
July 27 1882


A very good summary of all Wesson Time-On-Bottom markings used in various cities in America can be found in the LaPosta Monograph Series - Volume 5 published by LaPosta Publications - Scappoose, Oregon.


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