One Page. The BICKERDIKE Machine Cancels
The BICKERDIKE Machine Cancels
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.
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.
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)