One Page. The BICKERDIKE Machine Cancels

From Stamps of the World

The BICKERDIKE Machine Cancels

One Page. The BICKERDIKE Machine Cancels CanadaTitle.jpg


The Bickerdike machine was developed in Canada by the American Postal Machine Company with developers John Brooks Young and Martin Van Buren Ethridge. The machine is named after Robert Bickerdike (1843-1928), a businessman in Canada. Bickerdike may have invested in the development of the machine. The first Bickerdike machine was put into service in 1896. And some years later in England. From 1902 the machine is also in use in Germany. The "Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken" in Berlin was the European representative. However, a 'typenraderstempel' ('Bridge Cancel') was included instead of the Canadian round cancel for the place and date.

The Bickerdike Machine

In 1904, the firm "Georges & Waterville" in Amsterdam was allowed to deliver a Bickerdike stamping machine on trial to the post office in The Hague, which would test the device. The test period was 9 months. Then, May 9, 1905, the machine was paid for and continued in use, with the "wavelines" being partially replaced by the Netherlands Coat of Arms ("Je Maintiendrai"). However, not for long, because on September 27, 1905, the daily use was already discontinued. The machine was only used for the New Year's mail of 1905/1906. The results of the Bickerdike were good, the stamp impressions were excellent, but the speed (about 100 mail pieces per minute) was disappointing. The Bickerdike was succeeded by the Columbia machine of the Columbia Postal Supply Company of Silver Creek, New York, which could process about 600 items of mail per minute.


Below are some examples of postal covers or cards with a Bickerdike stamp. The prints that were taken from various websites and auction catalogs are from Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.


Montreal 1896
Montreal 1902
Hamilton 1897
Hamilton 1898

Great Britain

Liverpool 1900
Liverpool 1902


Brussels 1908


Leipzig 19xx
Berlin 1902. Cover sent from Berlin to Gifhorn.
Hannover 1904
Halle 1904
Bremen 1904. Cover sent from Bremen to Baltimore (USA).
Bremen 1909. Cover sent from Bremen to Offenbach (Germany).
Hamburg 1905. Postal Card locally used in Hamburg.
Karlsruhe 1910


Paris 1899
Paris 1901
Paris 1914


Milano 1902


's-Gravenhage 1905
's-Gravenhage 1905
's-Gravenhage 1905
's-Gravenhage 1905

United States of America

Boston 1909
Boston 1913
Ardmore 1914
Niagara Falls 1907
Fall River 1919
Westminster 1914

Notes and References

1. Jos Stroom in: De Postzak nrs 183/184 (1996). Edited by Po&Po the Netherlands.

2. Jos Stroom in: Back Issues, nr 22.4:

3. O.M.Vellinga "The Postmarks of the Netherlands 1676-1915" (1931) in:

4. Handboek Postwaarden Nederland, Section A8, pgs. 41-43. Joh. Enschedé.

5. Various websites and Auction Catalogues

6. Thank you for visiting! (Toon Oomens / Terneuzen / The Netherlands)