Papua New Guinea PVI Butterfly Hologram Meter

PNG PVI labels

These meters are scarce and were in use about a year.  The whole Postal Value Indicated (PVI) effort which lasted three years proved difficult to maintain as it was expensive to keep sending out a repairman from Port Moresby everytime the machines broke down. Images courtesy of Wolfgang Holzl.

The well documented PNG butterfly design was apparently an attempt to have the silver line used to center the image. Later other Australian printers were developed for Counter Printed Stamps and one still remains in use in Adelaide today

The cumulative numbers on the labels are believed to have carried the following codes using the first 2 letters: 11 Boroko, 12 Port Moresby, 28 Mt Hagen, 41 Lae, 44 Goroka, 51 Madang, 62 Kimbe, ? Alotau (per Richard Peck). I believe this was the first practical application of the postal codes which were introduced around the same time.

PVI Butterfly

PVI butterfly mint 2

PVI butterfly mint 1


PVI Butterfly 2

PNG PVI Butterfly Stamp Census
Machine No. Date of Use Town Label Number Value Comments
  December 1, 1995 Kimbe 62992890 0.21 RP
    Madang 51000084 0.04  
  January 9, 1996 Alotau   1.45 no code
      21000153 1.45  
  January 19,1996 Madang   0.15  
  January 24,1996 Alotau   0.04  
  April 4, 1996 Madang   0.04 manuscript 4t
  April 25, 1996 Alotau   0.04 no code
  June 4, 1996 Alotau   1.2  
3502 Sept 8 1995 Kimbe 62001195 1.41 RP
3502 October 13, 1995 Kimbe 62001307   RP
3583 March 5, 1996 Madang 51000405 0.05  
3583 March 6, 1996 Madang 51000429 0.15  
3594 Jul 29 1998 Wewak 53000064 0.25 used same day/ made at 14:46
3594 Jul 30 1998 Wewak 53000122 0.25 used same day/made at 10:06
3594   Wewak 53000193 0.25 used 12 October/made at 11:51
3594   Wewak 53000208 0.25 used 11 August/made at 11:51
3599   Kimbe 62000162 1 RP

This series has  its origins at the counters in Australian post offices as TIM machines were trialled in 1951 for parcels post. These led to the purchase of National Cash Registers from 1957. By the mid 1980s these were replaced by Postal Charge Calculators, invented in Australia which were modified desk top calculators. These could interface with existing electronic scales. A Melbourne firm went further and invented the Combined Scale Calculator. These were sold in Australia from 1991.

In an effort to “brighten up” the image, there were several attempts at using imagery in the designs. Suddenly in 1994 a “kangaroo and koala” design appeared and there were several attempts at using self adhesive labels with pre-printed backgrounds, but few were successful at this time.

In PNG, CSCs were introduced in 1995. The first design consisted of a bird of paradise and is known used at:


Machine          location           date                value               comments

3447                ?                      19.7.95            K0.21              unpostmarked

3997?              Boroko            31.7.95            K0.21              postmarked by machine

3552                Madang?          ?                      K0.24              cds indistinct

3593                ?                      7.9.95              K0.21              unpostmarked


The bird was then replaced by the post office “P” logo and receipts are known:

Machine          location           date                value               comments

3593                Mt Hagen         6.9.95              K1.41              “Registered” “Air Mail”

3517                Boroko            4.10.95            K0.04              make up, postmarked

?                      Lae                  31.10.95          K0.25              label squashed

3472                Lae                  6.11.95            K0.04              make up

3603                Boroko            15.12.95          K1.00              machine posrmark      

3491                Boroko            22.1.96            K0.0.04           make up, postmarked

3583                ?                      6.2.96              K0.04              make up

?                      Boroko            25.2.96            K0.21             

3599                ?                      17.5.96            K0.50+0.50     joined

3520                Goroka                        24.6.96            K0.21+0.30     plus receipt

3561                Pt Moresby      26.6.96            K0.50              with stamp

3565                Madang           4.7.96              K0.50              receipt

3472                Lae                  9.7.96              K0.21              plus receipt

3599                Kimbe             19.2.97            K0.50              postmarked “Par Avion”

As a matter of interest, Norfolk Island introduced CPS with a pre-printed tree design on 30.4.97 from machine 3811 in black. By 28.10.99 the image was purple. A FDC of a later design in 2001 actually shows the CSC machine. Pretext was the need to post boxed cigarettes in bulk but there was a lot of philatelic use!

The Isle of man is the only other known country to have used CSCs, with a pre-printed design.

 Thanks to Richard Peck and to Wolfgang Holzl for their effort in preparing this discussion.




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