History Overview
The idea of creating the mechanical means for printing postage has arisen soon after postal administrations started using adhesive stamps. The adhesive stamps were convenient for personal use, but they made too much overhead for big companies, which were sending many letters. A lot of inventors from different countries tried to create equipment for printing postage directly onto envelopes and post offices installed these machines as an experiment.
In June 1903 the first franking machines were installed in Norway, and then, in 1904 in New Zealand, and then Great Britain started using them in 1912. Only after almost twenty years of experiments, it was allowed to use franking machines for first class mail in the United States. On December 10, 1920 the first letter franked by meter stamp was accepted in Stamford, Connecticut.
After that, franking machines appeared in Australia, Germany, France, Italy, and other European countries.