Control Perfins

Compiled and Administered
by Curt McCoy


In mid 1909 the Schermack Company began experimenting with the addition of a Control Perfin to their existing affixing machines. Early experiments involved a 12 Hole pattern. The 12 Hole pattern proved to be too fragile for their high speed machines and they soon opted for a 9 Hole square pattern.

A patent was applied for this design in October 1909. By removing various combinations of the nine pins, each of their customers, wanting this security could have their own unique pattern. By late 1909 many of the New York Customers adopted a Control Perfin for their affixing machines. By 1910, companies in Detroit and Chicago also were using Control Perfs on their equipment. By 1911 the New York companies began pulling the dies from their machines and discontinuing the practice. Some of the Chicago and Detroit companies continued using Control Perfins until late 1913, but by 1914 the practice had all but disappeared.

Control Perfs were in use only a total of four years. Little, if any, documentation was left by the time the Philatelic community became interested. Much of what is known came about by discovery of Control Perfins on cover and the hard work of fellow collectors. Over the years, several Census attempts have been taken. This Census offers an unique opportunity to form a better picture of their usage and rarity.

The Census contains up-to-date info on the total number of each variety currently known (click on the detail link to see quantity and Scott number). It also contains the name of the company if known. If you have a Control Perfin you would like us to consider, please use the contact form and we will get it included.

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