Booklets, the Netherlands

The first booklets were sold at the counter of post offices. They consisted of some stamps of common fares, put together between two cartons with a punch ring or a staple. The stamps for these booklets were printed in special sheets. This can be seen in the well known head-on (tÍte-bÍche) prints from 1924. In The Netherlands the first booklet was issued in 1902, the last in 1950.

Booklet 23b sold at counter (1937)

Red Cross booklet 42 (1927)

In 1962 the Dutch Post (PTT) ran a pilot with booklets to be sold in automats. Several try out booklets were made, initially for internal use only and later for public use.

Test booklet Utrecht II

In 1964 the sale of the first real automat booklets started. They were manufactured by hand using specially printed sheets. However, differences in width and size caused too many malfunctions in the automats. Therefore in 1965 a new type of booklet was produced by a machine that used coils instead of sheets. This worked out well, so PTT installed several thousand automats all over the country. New booklets appeared when fares would change, totalling to 35 different booklets over the years, some of which were produced in different printings. Because of imperfections in the production process, the first 15 booklets are especially interesting for collectors, as they offer ample possibilities for specialisation of printing variations. After 1982 the production process was perfected, so that new varieties could hardly be found any more.

The Netherlands 9cF type B; shifted perforation

Apart from these "real" automat booklets, also some booklets were issued that looked like automat booklets, but were only sold at the counter. The first of these booklets was the Red Cross booklet in 1983.

The Netherlands, Red Cross Nr. 29

In the mid nineties the automats gradually disappeared from the streets. The last booklet was issued in 1994. PTT later introduced new kinds of counter sold booklets, such as self adhesive sheetlets (see the frame "Sheetlets"). Not only the booklets, but also the separate stamps from the booklets, mint or used or on cover, may be interesting items to collect

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