Ireland  (Éire)

Following an unusual decision, An Post, the Irish postal administration, decided, in 1990, to trial, for a three months period, three different types of stamp label - ATM vending machines, to see which one best suited their needs.

So on October 8th 1990 they put three types of vending machines, Frama, Klüssendorf and Amiel / Pitney Bowes into service at post offices in three major cities: Dublin, Limerick and Cork.
Official first day cover with the 3 ATMs on trial, and the first day general postmark.

The Frama - FE 1710 distributor was installed at the Dublin General Post Office.
The gummed paper is white, and test rolls were provided by the distributor manufacturer.
The machine offered ATMs with any face value between 1 and 9999 pence, in steps of one penny. Besides the face value, the red-purple imprint of the distributor included the machine number at the left side (001 in the picture below), DUBLIN ATH CLIATH (the wrong name) at the right, and the arms of the four provinces of Ireland in the corners.
The imprint design is by Noel Monney, who also created the design of the next two ATM issues, and all the official first day covers.

Official first day of issue cover of the Frama distributor, franked with one ATM and the special Dublin postmark. The cover is illustrated with the picture of the Frama vending machine.

The Klüssendorf 696 vending machine was installed at the Limerick Head Post Office.
In this machine it was also possible to print stamps with any face value from 1 to 9999 pence, in steps of one penny.
The rolls of gummed paper were manufactured in Germany and supplied by the vending machine manufacturer

Official first day of issue cover of the Klüssendorf distributor, franked with one ATM and the special Limerick postmark. The cover is illustrated with the picture of the Klüssendorf 696 vending machine.

Lastly, the Amiel / Pitney Bowes distributor was installed in the Cork Head Post Office. This machine printed the face value in Irish pounds, and users could obtain any face value between 00.01 and 99.99 IEP (1 to 9999 pence).

Unlike the other vending machines, in this case the labels were self-adhesive. The test rolls were manufactured in France by Imprimerie des Timbres Poste and supplied by the manufacturer along with the machine.

Official first day of issue cover of the Amiel / Pitney Bowes distributor, franked with one ATM and the special Cork postmark. The cover is illustrated with the picture of the Amiel vending machine.

The trial terminated on January 31st 1991, although the Frama and Klüssendorf distributors continued in service until the end of May. It seems that the best result was with the Frama vending machine, because An Post purchased and installed, from April 6th 1992, a total of 10 new FE 1710 distributors, by the Swiss company, in different post offices around the country.

The new security gummed paper has a neutral brown background with the grey design of the Tara Brooch, one of the most important pieces of early Christian-era Irish art, created around 700 AD.
The red imprint includes the face value in the centre, and the name of the post office where the distributor was installed -in the Irish language- and the machine number (Baile Átha Cliath -Dublin- and 002 or 001, in the pictures).

An Post prepared special illustrated first day of issue postmarks for each of the cities where the Frama distributors were installed.
First day cover of the new Frama design, franked with the basic 4-values set and Dublin special postmark.

Corcaigh  003
Luimneach  004
Gaillimh  005
Port Láirge   006
Sligeach  007
Bré  008
Cill Airne   009
Cill Chainnigh   010

After some years in use, all the Frama vending machines were worn out and were taken out of service, many in 2001 when An Post decided not to adapt them to the new European currency.

2nd. phase.
2008-... The Wincor Nixdorf postal kiosks >>>

2010 - The pilot test and the new ATMs 'Irish Wild flowers' >>>

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© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in 2000 and last updated:  26.06.10
. English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (09.06.2010)