In the Beginning- 1984 GB Frama Labels

15p Frama Frama labels were the inital experiment by the Post Office to find a way of providing valid postage labels without using multiple existing stamps. The machine could then dispense a single label to the required value alowing for an increased flexability in stamp vending. Cost savings could be made as only one (blank) roll of blank labels was required to be distributed. 

A computer controlled machine would print and dispense the label according to the coins inserted -once the correct amount was reached, the customer simply press a button to print the value reached. The machines were installed inside Head Post Offices in Cambridge, London, Southampton and Windsor.

The labels themselves were printed in red onto imperforate phosphorised paper which had a grey green wavy background. They were dispensed in 1/2p increments up to and including 16p and went on sale between May and August 1984. At the end of August 1984 a additional two values of 16 1/2p and 17p were made available to correspond to an increased postal tariff at that time.

The stamps were available via the machines and additionally in collectors packs at the philatelic counters across the country. At the end of August 1984, the machines were adjusted to remove all the 1/2p values and the machines were finally taken out of service on 30th April 1985… Awaiting the next development…. some 23 years later..

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