Franking

Frank; from Latin francus meaning free,  so when we refer to franking in the postal sector it delivers the message that the mail is free of obligation to pay or in other words postage paid. The most commonly known type of Franking is the physical application of the Postage Stamp, however, franking also includes the form of printed or stamped impressions made in an authorised format. “Privilege” franking is used by government officials which is a signature that replaces a stamp or impression. In the United States, this is called congressional franking. Privilege franking was used before affixing physical stamps from the 1600’s but the privilege was being misused and anyone with a friend in government could potentially attain free mail. In 1884 a Norwegian obtained a British patent to stamp mail and help prevent postal fraud through the use of the counting device which was attached to it.  In the 1920’s when industry and commerce were growing rapidly, the franking machine made the counting, recording, and processing of mail much more efficient and less susceptible to fraud.  Although we are in the age of the internet some ways of the past are still preferred.