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Thursday 14 November 2013
Post-Soviet Meter Frankings
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Some of us are slower to adapt to changes than others. Here is an office clerk stuck with a Soviet-era meter franking machine which only goes up to 9 rubles 99 kopecks. But he or she is trying to send a large envelope from Moscow to Estonia in July 1973. I count 86 individually-applied labels at 900 kopecks and 2 at 300 kopecks, yielding a total franking of 780 roubles. The Catch 22 is that the weight of these labels and the glue used to apply them probably altered the weight step for this letter ....
In other offices,clerks dealt with the inflation problem by removing the "k" for "kopeck" on the machine and inserting a "p" for "ruble". In this case, the franking could then have been applied by using just one label.
This is by no means the most exotic item you could find from Russia's 1990s inflation.