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Welcome to the world of US auxiliary markings! This part of philately has remained mostly unexplored territory simply because of the monumental scope of these markings and their varieties.

Far from being a comprehensive guide, this web site is a sampler of the major types of marks and labels. There is no one way or correct way to organize such a collection, but this is my attempt at it! I've concentrated mostly on marks from the 20th century.


Here's the definition of auxiliary markings adopted by the Auxiliary Markings Club:

Postal marking applied to covers by handstamp, machine cancellation, a stick-on label, manuscript markings, or by mechanical or electronic methods such as addressograph or computer, indicating that the covers were given special attention due to some special circumstance.

Ink Color

Magenta, a bright red shade, is the most common ink color used to apply markings, but an array of other colors have been used as well. Here are just a few.





teal blue



light purple



Scanning and Viewing

Marks seen here were all scanned at 100 dpi and are shown using the same scale in size, with the exception of a few which originated from #10 envelopes which were reduced roughly 10%. If needed, their orientation was manipulated horizontally from its applied position, and enhanced for easier viewing.

Clicking a mark will bring up a view of its originating cover in a separate browser window.

Use the navigation buttons at the top or bottom to move to other pages backwards or forwards, or click "Home" to return to the main screen.

Enjoy this presentation!

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