This page last updated: 12 June 2015


::: Davey/Bash Identification System Illustrated :::

Back to Town Postmarks.


Meyer and Harris (MH), or Davey/Bash, types are numerical descriptions of that type's appearance. For example, 238.02 describes a single lined 30mm outer circle with a post office name inside it and a month, day and year in the center. In another example, type 282.012 describes a 33mm double lined outer circle with a single lined inner circle, a post office name between the outer and inner circles, a Maltese cross ornament style at the sides and a month, day and year in the center.

Makawao 238_02 13Jan82

Makawao 238.02 13Jan82
Type 238.02

Koloa 282_012 10May99

Koloa 282.012 on 81 pair
Type 282.012

Some collectors advocate other systems. These systems either work on a sequential numbering system for each town or if they are descriptive type numbers, become at least as complex as the Davey/Bash system. Until someone invents a simple descriptive type system, my preference is to stay with Davey/Bash so far as postmarks are concerned.

The Davey/Bash identification system assigns town postmarks to the 200 Series.

Numbers to the left of the decimal describe the "parent" style for a mark:

    The hundred's digit places the mark among town postmarks.
    The ten's digit refers to the shape of the mark.
    The one's digit refers either to the sequence within a given shape or, in the
       case of circular marks, to the diameter of the circle in millimeters.

   Thus, "253" describes a town postmark with a 27mm double outer circle with
   no inner circle
. Variations in the appearance of marks fitting this description are
   identified in the numbers to the right of the decimal.

Numbers to the right of the decimal refer to the appearance of the words
   and designs within the mark
. The numbers mean:

    Tenths digit:

       0 = basic style for parent
       1 = variation in wording from the basic style of the parent mark
       2 = variation in wording from the basic style of the parent mark
       3 = variation in wording from the basic style of the parent mark
       4 = variation in wording from the basic style of the parent mark
       5 = date omitted
       6 = date arranged differently
       7 = duplex ellipses "1" killer
       8 = duplex ellipses "2" killer
       9 = duplex ellipses "1" killer with solid center
       9a = target duplex killer; Davey and Bash ended with "9" but there are
              other duplex target killer cancels they omitted so I put them here

    Hundredths digit describes the font style used in the letters:

       1 = serifed letters
       2 = unserifed letters
       3 = upper words serifed, lower words unserifed
       4 = upper words unserifed, lower words serifed
       5 = upper words serifed, lower words in italics
       6 = upper words serifed and capitalized, lower letters serifed and initial
                   capitalized
Davey and Bash ended with "9" but there are

    Thousandths digit describes the ornament, if any, used in the mark:

       1 = MH type a: side ornament Paauilo 282_011 large sunburst; seen from numerous offices

       2 = MH type b: cross Kahului 272_642 CROSSL~1 two styles of crosses; the first style
               appears only from Kahului and the second is seen from numerous offices


       3 = MH type c: star Paauilo 281_013 star Kahului 282_013 large or small stars; seen from numerous
               offices


       4 = MH type d: Lihue 272_614 side ornament diamonds at top and bottom with sunburst in
                   middle
; known only from Lihue

       5 = MH type e: Hilo fluer de lis fleur de lis; known only from Hilo

       6 = MH type f: Puehuehu sunburst Kealakekua 282_016 detail small sunburst; two styles, one
               smaller with eight rays and one larger with ten rays; seen from numerous
               offices


       7 = MH type g: diamonds Kahului 271_017 row of diamonds; known only from Kahului

       8 = Kohala dots solid dots

       9 = Honolulu diamond diamonds

       9a = dash side ornaments; Hilo dashes known only from Hilo and added by
                 me to the Davey/Bash list

Numbers 201 to 209 were reserved for straight-line marks. Davey and Bash identified only one straight-line mark. I believe there are four because three marks relegated by Davey and Bash to the private marks section were in fact used as postmarks. The tenths digit is sequential in this series.

201
Honolulu, Oahu
Honolulu, Hawaiian Is./date straightline, blue or black

21Dec50

201 21 Dec 50

202 (MH #609)
Paauilo, Hawaii
PAAUILO HAWAII
straightline, black
One mark fits this description.

Paauilo 609

203 (MH #610)
Paauilo, Hawaii
PAAUILO/date
straightline, black
One mark fits this description.

Paauilo 610 9Nov98

204 (MH #612)
Volcano House, Hawaii
VOLCANO HOUSE.
straightline, black
One mark fits this description.

VOLCANO HOUSE_

205
Huelo, Maui
HUELO
straightline, orange
One mark fits this description.

Huelo orange

Numbers 211 to 210 were reserved for oval town marks. Davey and Bash identified three but two more should be added for a total of five. The tenths digit is sequential in this series.

211
Hilo, Hawaii
COLLECTORS OFFICE/
HILO, HAWAII.

oval, blue or black
One mark fits this description.

Hilo 211 27May65

212
Honolulu, Oahu
GENERAL POST OFFICE./
three line date
HONOLULU, H. I.

oval, black
One mark fits this description.

212 13Dec69

213
Volcano House, Hawaii
VOLCANO in arc above/
HOUSE
oval, black
There is a crater scene at the bottom of this mark.

Volcano House oval

214
Waiohinu, Hawaii
WAIOHINU P. O.
one line date
HAWAIIAN ISLS.

oval, blue with serrated outer circle
one mark fits this description

Waiohinu 213 24Apr78

215
Wailuku, Maui
WAILUKU POST OFFICE./
three line date
HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

oval, blue
one mark fits this description

Wailuku 212 16Feb70

216
Ookala Plantation, Hawaii
OOKALA PLANTATION/
three line date/
HAWAII

oval, black
one mark fits this description

Ookala Plntn

217
Kilauea Sugar Co., Kauai
KILAUEA Sugar Co./
one line date/
Kauai, H. I.

oval, purple
one mark fits this description

82 - May 4 Kilauea Sugar Co

May 4, 1882

Numbers 221 to 225 were reserved for circular town marks without an outer circle rim. There are no additions to the three marks Davey and Bash identified for this series. The tenths digit is sequential in this series.

221.02
Honolulu, Oahu
HONOLULU, H.I./
three line date
PAID ALL

circle without outer rim
22mm
0 = parent style for this mark
2 = unserifed letters

One mark fits this description.

221_02 23Apr77

222.02
Honolulu, Oahu
GEN'L. POST OFFICE/
three line date
HONOLULU, H. I.

circle without outer rim
23mm
0 = parent style for this mark
2 = unserifed letters

One mark fits this description.

222_02 27Feb77

223.029
Honolulu, Oahu
POST OFFICE
three line date
HONOLULU, H. I.

circle without outer rim
24mm
0 = parent style for this mark
2 = unserifed letters
9 = diamond side ornaments

One mark fits this description.

223_029 30Sep78

Numbers 226 to 230 were reserved for squared circle marks. Only one postmark in this category has been identified.

226.528
Honolulu, Oahu
HONOLULU/
H' I.

squared circle
25mm x 26mm
5 = date omitted
2 = unserifed letters
8 = dot side ornaments

one mark fits this description; Davey and Bash listed it as 226.52 but because of the dot side ornaments, I list it as 226.528.

226_52 20Apr97

See Single Lined Outer Circle Marks for the Series 231 to 249
See Double Lined Outer Circle Town Marks for the Series 251 to 269
See Single Lined Outer and Inner Circle Marks for the Series 271 to 279
See Double Lined Outer and Single Lined Inner Circles for the Series 281 to
    289
and for Double Lined Outer and Inner Circles, Series 291 to 299.


Numbers 301 to 303 are reserved for Custom House Seals and although they are not town postmarks in a strict sense (and thus are not among the 200 Series), they are counted among the town postmarks because they were used that way and they bear the name of the town. The tenths digit is sequential in this series.

301
Cona, Hawaii
oval, black, 44mm x 27mm
I have never seen this mark

302
Hilo, Hawaii
See type 211

303
Lahaina, Maui
CUSTOM HOUSE LAHAINA MAUI H. I.
mm circle, blue, fully rigged ship
in center

Lahaina 303 Plate 3-
Lahaina 303 Plate 3-C-VII

Number 801 is defined by Davey/Bash to cover "all pen cancellations, such as crosses or scratches, and also cases where the name of the office or settlement is written across the stamp or on the cover." [emphasis added] The bold letters describe the portion of number 801 pertaining to town postmarks. The rest of the definition refers to cancellations. Notice the postmark definition includes manuscript town names written on the face of the cover. To qualify as a town postmark the writing must be the name of the post office of origin or of a transit post office. Manuscript marks other than those identifying the name of a town with a post office belong to other categories of marks. Examples of manuscript marks belonging to other categories are names of places without a post office, names or initials of postmasters and names of vessels are examples.

In addition to the post office name, there can be additional information written by the postmaster. Noted are manuscript postmarks with “P. O.” or “Post Office” or a date added in the same handwriting. Davey and Bash assigned all manuscript postmarks to number 801 without distinguishing the different styles. For the present study, the number range has been expanded to give different variations a separate number. Number 801 now refers to a manuscript postmark with the name of the town and nothing more. A manuscript town postmark with additional information will fall into another number in the 800 series. A manuscript postmark of type 801 written on a cover instead of on a stamp is assigned to Number 811. This number should be used even if a portion of the manuscript appears accidentally to extend onto a stamp. The idea is to use number 811 where the postmaster’s inferred intent was to inscribe an envelope rather than to cancel a stamp. If additional information was written by the postmaster, another number in the 811 series should be used. Finally, there were a few instances where a handstamp was falling apart and manuscript was used to fill in missing portions. Those types of manuscript town postmarks are assigned to number 821.

Manuscript postmarks are assigned different numbers as follows:

801: manuscript office name only
802: manuscript office name with "P O" or “Post Office” added:
803: manuscript office name with date added:
804: manuscript office name with "P O" or “Post Office” and date added:
805: manuscript office name with island name or initial added:
806: manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office”:
807: manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus date:
808: manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office” and date:

811: manuscript office name only on cover but off stamp:
812: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with "P O" or “Post Office” added:
813: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with date added:
814: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with "P O" or “Post Office” and date added:
815: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added:
816: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office”:
817: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus date:
818: manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office” and date:


821: manuscript information added to complete a handstamped town postmark:

Please give me your comments on this suggestion.

Unless the mark is found on a cover with contents or with docket information written on it, dating most of the manuscript marks can be done only generally by the usage period of the stamp on which it is written. Given this limitation, trying to identify an exact EKU has little value.

Some manuscript marks were used later in Hawaii's postal period, but most were used within a few years after the 2¢ inter-island potage rate was imposed on August 1, 1859. Most are found on the Numeral Issue or Boston Lithograph Issue or on the 2¢ Bank Note Issues, Scott Nos. 31a, 35, 38 and 43.

801
Manuscript office name

Ulupalakua ms 31a

Ulupalakua, Maui manuscript on Scott No. 31a

802
Manuscript office name followed by “P O” or “Post Office”

Waipio ms 15Jan70

Waipio, Hawaii manuscript "Waipio/P O" on Scott No. 31a

803
Manuscript office name with date

Mana ms 6 Oct93

Mana, Kauai manuscript "Mana 6 Oct 93" on Scott No. 59


Olaa ms 25May94

Olaa, Hawaii manuscript "Olaa May 25/94" on Scott No. 75

804
Manuscript office name with "P O" or “Post Office” and date added

Honokaa 804, ex-Golden

Honokaa, Hawaii manuscript on 3 lines Honokaa/P.O./Aug. 29" on Scott No. 31

805
Manuscript office name with island name or initial added

Kailua 801, ex-Golden

Kailua, Hawaii manuscript on 2 lines "Kailua/H" on Scott No. 31

806
Manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office”

807
Manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus date:

Waimea 803 67 - Nov 21

Waimea, Hawaii manuscript on 3 lines "Waimea/H/Nov 21" on Scott No. 31

808
Manuscript office name with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office” and date

811
Manuscript office name only on cover but off stamp

812
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with "P O" or “Post Office” added

813
Manuscript office name cover but off stamp with date added

814
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with "P O" or “Post Office” and date added

815
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added:

Hamakuapoko ms _Jan92

Hamakuapoko, Maui manuscript
"Hamakuapoko, Maui/Hawaiian Islands" on cover to indicate post office of origin

816
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office”

817
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus date

72 - May 1 ms postmark and Paid L.L

Waimea, Hawaii manuscript on one line "Waimea H May 1" on cover to indicate post office of origin

821
Manuscript office name on cover but off stamp with island name or initial added plus "P O" or “Post Office” and date

Makawao 281_011 ms 00 - Jan 6 EKU - Kay

Makawao, Maui manuscript date "Jan/6/1900" inside postmark Type 281.011

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