Production of booklets
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To produce gummed, closed and folded booklets, two machines are needed:

A TD6 press to print stamps

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printing scheme for booklets on a TD6 press


There are two main differences for the use of such a press compared to the production of sheets of stamps: each cylinder turn prints 330 stamps in the form of two blocks of five columns (33 rows of 10 stamps with a central gutter) and the delivery of stamps is made through two rolls with a width of five stamps after cutting the endless strip of stamps. Printer’s markings (control number, plate number and date) are printed on the right and on the central gutter of the sheets every ten booklets. The electronic mark is printed on the central gutter every 33 booklets.


It is now possible to define the notion of “aristo” booklet: it is a booklet which possesses an electronic mark (generally straddling the upper and lower pane because the guillotining of the endless strip of stamps is supposed to cut the mark) and a date on its right margin.

With the indications given above on the printing process (and Bézout’s theorem), it may be shown that there is one “aristo” booklet every 330 booklets for closed booklets of 10 stamps and one “aristo” booklet every 165 booklets for closed booklets of 20 stamps.

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couverture du carnet C2 produite par la confectionneuse 6


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feuillet supérieur du carnet ci-dessus : carnet aristo avec RE 2, date 21.1.71 et presse TD6-6
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feuillet inférieur du carnet ci-dessus (on voit l’extrémité du R.E. à droite)


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reconstitution de la feuille du carnet ci-dessus montrant le repère électronique complet


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caractérisation du repère électronique d’un carnet


Thanks to the opposite image, we may recall how the electronic mark of a booklet is characterized. The following parameters are measured (in millimetres):

  • The length of the electronic mark;
  • The distance between the base of the electronic mark and the base of the nearby stamp;
  • The distance between the left edge of the electronic mark and the stamp to the left;
  • The distance between the right edge of the electronic mark and the stamp to the right.

Thus, the electronic mark of the sleeve number 2 has the following parameters, according to the brochure “Les carnets du 0,50 Marianne de Béquet” by J. RENARD:

length = 9,9; left distance = 4,1; distance to the base = 1,1; right distance = 4,0.

Shown below is an imprimatur sheet for the preparation of booklets with the stamp 0,50F Marianne de Béquet visible at the French Postal Museum:

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feuille témoin pour la réalisation de carnets ( Copyright Coll. L’Adresse Musée de La Poste, Paris / La Poste)


A packaging machine to print covers and make booklets

Covers are flexo-printed with rubber printing plates, aniline ink and two cylinders:

  • a cylinder for the wording of covers with a diameter of 41,4 mm for the booklets of 10 stamps or 82,8 mm for the booklets of 20 stamps;
  • a cylinder for counting marks with the same diameter as the cylinder for wording (counting marks allow to see at a glance if a booklet is missing). A bar system on the impression cylinder allows a progressive lag in order to obtain nine marks on 260 mm. The 9 th mark being bigger is cut in two to achieve ten marks. Here is an illustration of these marks on the following two pictures:
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    série de 10 carnets C7 du 0,50F Marianne de Béquet montrant le décalage progressif des 10 cavaliers permettant un comptage aisé


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    série de 10 carnets C9 du 0,50F Marianne de Béquet montrant le décalage progressif des 10 cavaliers permettant un comptage aisé


The running principle of a packaging machine is as follows: this machine drives three strips of paper (two for stamps and one for covers) at the same scrolling speed to make them coincide when cutting the booklet. An electronic system regulates ahead of or behind three differentials to bring into line the speed of the cover, the correspondence of the two strips of stamps and the cut of the booklet at the perforation location, after an optical reading of perforation.

The sticking of booklets is made by applying a plastic industrial glue with a grooved roulette which applies three stripes of adhesive to fix the two strips of stamps on the cover and to close the booklet.

Eight packaging machines were used for the printing of booklets with the stamp 0,50F Marianne de Béquet:

  • The packaging machines 1 and 2: they had a different design than the six other machines and were difficult to control. Transferred to Boulazac, they were abandoned after a last test with the closed booklet of 5 stamps 0,80F red Marianne de Béquet.
  • The packaging machines 3 to 8: they could produce approximately 70000 booklets a day.

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