Company perforations or PERFINS (2)

Stamps with motorcycle images, that is what we collect. Preferably images of our own motorcycle. Sometimes we make a short excursion to letters with cancellation stamps. Even booklets with motorcycles on the cover, postcards with imprinted stamps and postal stationary are included in our collections. But stamps with holes in it!!!!!

Translation: Our collection theme also includes various sideissues, like scooters and tricycles. Another one is company perforations, better known under the English name "Perfins". The writer of this articles wanted to make a few articles about this subject. After some correspondence between Hans and the Dutch Perfin Club it appeared that there are very few stamps with the motorcycle theme, at least in the Netherlands. Possibly more in this category can be found abroad - something to investigate - when possible.

Above a short text of Hans de Kloet, as editor, from newsletter 10, December 1989. A few years later there was a short answer on this question in newsletter 23. After a short introduction about what perfins are a few perfins, amongst which those of Eysink and Wanderer, passed in review.
In thematic collections on expositions it is usual that some perfins are shown. I myself have also included some of these perforated stamps in my exposition 'The motorcycle - nostalgia and use'. Being curious which perfins exist related to our theme, the motorcycle, I have visited the Association's library a few times to browse through some books and catalogues. And I was amazed by the number that I found. Before presenting the result of my search, first a short repetition about the origin and purpose of perfins.

What are perfins, and what is their use?
Sir Rowland HillAfter Rowland Hill, a teacher, started working for the English Post, he discovered that the postal service was 'expensive' and that most of the costs concerned the reception and delivery of the post. In his proposal from 1837 he suggested to let the sender pay the postal delivery in advance. Prove for the prepayment had to be by using prepaid letters (letter with imprinted value) or by pasting self-adhesive stamps.
The first stamp: "Penny black"Further the many, complex tarifs had to be replaced by a uniform tarif: for all letters with inland destination up to 1 ounce (28.34 gramms) 1 penny. After tihis proposal was accepted in 1840 the first stamp appeared: the Penny Black.
The stamps was a legal currency, and this implied that apart from paying post, they could also be used to buy bread, or simply to exchange them for cash money in the post office. For evil employees it was very attractive to exchange their boss' stamps for money as supplement to their wage. Postal officers knew about these practices, but without any prove....
To prevent theft of stamps they were provided with a stamping with company name on the front- and backside. Most probably this was not the solution against embezzlement. In 1867 the company Copestake, Moore, Crampton & Co. asked the Post for permission to provide stamps with perforations of the firm's initials SC (Mr. Sampson Copestake) to prevent theft.

Stamp with company name imprint
Stamp with company name imprint

Stamp with company name imprint and perforation
The first perfin

Sloper perforatorThis was done with the perforator that had been patented by Joseph Sloper in 1858. With this machine holes could be made in paper in a pattern forming letters. First in the tax stamps that were already used and later, after the approval on March 13th 1868, also in post stamps. At the same time it was not allowed anymore for postal officers to accept stamps provided with perforations and exchange them for money. After calling it 'Pin perforated' or 'Perforated with company initials' for a long time, in 1943 the term Perfin, PERForated INitials (or INsignia), was introduced.

So, perfins are deliberately made holes put up in the pattern of initials, logo's or images, to prevent theft of stamps by employees.
Over the course of time thousands different perfins have been made, and they have been used in almost all countries over the world. Our, unfortunately too early passed away, MFN member Harrie Rutgers has in the past successfully participated in expositions with his collection Cuban Perfins. But this didn't contain any motorcycle related items.
How many of them exist? I don't know, but after the start made by Hans in Newsletter 23 I still want to show the result of my quest here. First the perfins of motorcycle manufacturers, ordered by country, next perfins of tyre manufacturers etcetera.
Of each perfin the following information (as far as known) is given: perforation - company (period that the perfin has been in use).

Motorcycle manufacturers:


F.N. - Fabrique National d'Armes de Guerre, Luik (unknown).
Has, next to a perfin with 34 holes (in total), also used perfins with 30 and 33 holes.

stamp with FN Perfinstamp with FN Perfin

FN Perfin 34 holes
34 holes

FN Perfin 30 holes
30 holes

FN Perfin 33 holes
33 holes

FN 4-cilinder
FN Type A - 363cc 4-cilinder 1905


KSH - Knopf Sohne, Halberstadt (1923-1941).
Trading company with various articles, amongst which also for automobile and motorcycle riders.

Perfin Knopf Sohne Halberstadt

VW - Victoria-Werke, Nürnberg (1923-1937).
Founded as bicycle manufaturer and in 1901 started producing motorcycles.
During the use of the perforator pins tend to break off sometimes, resulting in incomplete perfins as can be seen on the image on the right underneath the V.

Perfin Victoria WerkePerfin Victoria WerkePerfin Victoria Werke with broken pins

Victoria KR50S
Victoria KR50S - 500cc 1931

WW - Wanderer-Werke, Chemnitz (1913-1927).
Started as 'Chemnitzer Velociped-Depot Winklhofer & Jaenicke' the production of motorcycles started in 1902. Perfin type 1 has been used from 1913 up to 1924 and after that type 2 from 1925 to 1927.

Perfin Wanderer Werke
Type 1

Perfin Wanderer WerkePerfin Wanderer Werke
Type 2

Wanderer 500cc V-twin 1915
Wanderer V-twin - 500cc 1915

Z - Zündapp, Nürnberg (1923-1927).
Founded as 'Zünder und Apparatenbau GmbH', the K249 was produced in the period that the perfin was in use.

Perfin Zündapp Nürnberg

Zündapp 250cc
Zündapp 250cc, around 1925


A.C.P. - SA Automobiles et Cycles Peugeot, Paris (1921 -1926).
During the 20-ies the bicycle and motorcycle department were separated from the automobiles.

Perfin Peugeot

D.B. - De Dion-Bouton, Paris (1907-1938).
Although the production of the tricycle was already stopped in 1905, the factory still delivered its famous engine for many years to various motorcycle manufacturers.

Perfin De Dion Bouton

De Dion Bouton engine
A De Dion Bouton watercooled 1-cilinder

G - Cycles et motocycles 'Alcyon', Paris (motorcycle brands Alcyon, Olympique and later Diamant) (unknown).

Perfin Alcyon

Alcyon 350cc 1914
Alcyon V-twin - 350cc 1914

H - Cycle la Française Marque Diamant, Paris (1914-1927).
Probably started in 1902 with production of motorcycles. In 1923 taken over by Alcyon.

Perfin La Francaise Marque DiamantPerfin La Francaise Marque Diamant

M.G - Monet et Goyon, Macon (1930-1935).
Has built motorcycles from 1917 up to 1957.

Perfin TerrotPerfin Monet & Goyon

Stamp booklet with advertisement for Monet & Goyon motorcycles
Stamp booklet with advertisement for Monet & Goyon motorcycles

T&C. - Terrot et Cie, Dijon (1902-1911).
Although the production of Terrot, started in 1901, went on until 1960, the use of perfins has stopped in 1911.

Perfin Terrot

Terrot Model A
Terrot Model A - ca. 1910

Great Brittain:

BSA - Birmingham Small Arms, Birmingham (1930-1939).
Influenced by the Krim war, founded to produce machine guns. Started in 1903 to make motorcycles.

Perfin BSAPerfin BSA

BSA Sloper 1930
BSA S31 Sloper - 500cc 1930

ECC - Enfield Cycle Co, Enfield (1895-1939).
After the original start with the production of needles an fishing hooks, the bicycle manufacturing department in Enfield was started after the take-over by Eadie. There also the motorcycles were built. Over the course of time 3 different perfins have been used.
Type 1 from 1895 to 1935, type 2 from 1905 up to 1915 and type 3 from 1915 up to 1939.

Perfin Royal Enfield - type 1Perfin Royal Enfield - type 2Perfin Royal Enfield - type 3
Type 1                                         Type 2                                         Type 3

In contradiction to the Royal Enfield motorcycles the perfins have been made very poorly.

Royal Enfield RE201 1923
Royal Enfield RE201 - 225cc 1923

HL - Humber & Co, Coventry (1890-1904).
Started in Sheffield, after that via Wolverhampton to Coventry. After the bankruptcy in 1900 continued under the name Humber Ltd. The first perfin was an image of a frame tag. Used from 1890 to 1895, with 130 holes it is the largest known perfin. The second has been used from 1902 up to 1904.

Perfin HumberPerfin Humber

With so many pins the chance of breaking off was very large (see arrow).

Perfin Humber with broken pins

Humber 500cc 1914
Humber 3-speed - 500cc 1914

NHCC - New Hudson Cycle Co, Birmingham (1896-1936).
Founded as Hudson, Edmonds & Co a namechange followed in 1898, and in 1902 the first motorcycle. No success, and not before 1910 production was continued until a second, definitive stop in 1932.

Perfin New Hudson

New Hudson Model 32 1934
New Hudson Model 34 - 350cc 1932

RCCo - Raleigh Cycle Co, Nottingham (1918-1925).
In Raleigh Street in Nottingham the bicycle factory was founded, and in 1899 production of motorcycles was started. The second perfin, in which the first C has been closed, originated from 1925.

Perfin RaleighPerfin Raleigh

REX - Rex Motor (Manufacturing) Company, Coventry (1905-1910).
Both the first named and the Motor Car en Motor Cycle Makers have been founded in 1902. From 1903 Rex concentrated on motorized bicycles. In 1911, after the discontinuation of the use of perfins, the focus was on motorcycles.

Perfin Rex

Rex 5 1/2 HP 1907
Rex 5 1/2 HP - 650cc 1907


E.A.K.R. - Ernst August Kestein Rotterdam, Rotterdam (unknown).
During its existence Kestein has produced motorcycles only during a short period, 1935-1936. A clear date stamp on the post stamp indicates whether it is from the right period.

Perfin EAKestein RotterdamPerfin EAKestein Rotterdam

EFA - Eysink Fabrieken Amersfoort, Amersfoort (1925-1944).
Started in 1901 with the construction of motorcycles, the factory has standed until the first oil crisis in 1956.

Perfin EysinkPerfin Eysink

Eysink 'Alps chaser' 1938
Eysink "Alps chaser" - 350 cc 1938

Gazelle - Gazelle Rijwielfabriek (bicyle factory), formerly Arentsen & Kolling, Dieren (1920-1928).
This factory, founded by Willem Kolling, was the only motorcycle manufacturer using a diagonal perfin.

Perfin GazellePerfin Gazelle

S&Z R - Stokvis & Zonen Rotterdam, Rotterdam (unknown).
Trading company from Rotterdam, especially known als importer of the Puch mopeds in the years 60 and 70. But also licensed producer of the Solex and Dutch moped brands like Amstel and Rap. Stokvis had several sales offices, like in Amsterdam and Groningen, that also used own perfins.

postcard Stokvis Rotterdam

Perfin Stokvis Rotterdam
Stokvis Rotterdam

Postcard Stokvis Groningen

Perfin Stokvis Groningen
Stokvis Groningen

Perfin Stokvis Amsterdam
Stokvis Amsterdam


H.B. - Bock & Hollender, Wenen (unknown).
Founded in 1898 for the production of cars. From 1905 to 1911 also motorcycles have been produced. After take-over by WAM in 1911 they stopped making motorcycles.

Perfin Bock & Hollender

Bock & Hollender

PUCH - Puch Werke AG, Graz (unknown).
Founded in 1899 by Janez Puh (Johann Puch), first the bicycle factory Styria and in 1901 a new factory for motorcycles.

Perfin Puch

Puch T3
Puch S4 ca. 1935


L&K - Laurin & Klement, Mlade Boleslav, Bohemen, former Austria-Hungary now Tsjech Republic (unknown).
Started in 1899 with building motorcycles, but already in 1908 changed over to 4-wheelers. It is not unlikely that after that some motorcycles have still been built.

Perfin Laurin & Klement


NV - Nymans Verkstäder, Uppsala (unknown).
Founded in 183 by Anders Nymans, started in 1903 with motorized bicycles, and in 1926 with motorcycles, the NV Model 249. First built by Svensk Motorindu in Örkelljunga, and from 1927 by NV itself.

Letter with perfin Nymans Verkstäder

Perfin Nymans Verkstäder

Nymans motorcycle
Nymans Verkstäder motorcycle


MM - American Motor Co, Brocton Massachusetts (unknown).

Perfin American Motor Co

American Motor Co

Thor - Thor Moto Cycle and Bicycle company, Aurora Illinois (unknown).
In 1903 Aurora founded this factory, to build a motorcycle that had been developed by Henderson.

Perfin Thor

Thor 1000cc 1916
Thor - 1000cc 1916

Tyre manufacturers:


C.C. - Continental Caoutchouc und Gutta Percha Compagnie, Hannover (1902-1954).
Founded in 1871 as producer of rubber, and now the 5th tyre manufacturer in the world. Continental has used several perfins during many years.

Perfin Continental
Type 1

Perfin Continental
Type 2

Perfin Continental
Type 3

Perfin Continental
Type 4

Perfin Continental
Type 5

M - Metzeler-Pneumatic, München (1912-1921).
Founded in 1863 by Robert Metzeler as trading company in rubber. The big break-through was due to plane tyres, and later car and motorcycle tyres, that were already patented in Switserland in 1898.

Perfin Metzeler


M - Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand (1920-1930).
Founded by the brothers André and Édouard Michelin. In 1891 an Englishman came to their factory with a flat tyre. The tyre had been glued to the rim and gave a lot of trouble, which lead the brothers to the idea of detachable tyres. Now Michelin is the biggest but one producer of car and motorcycle tyres.

Perfin Michelin

P.D. - Pneumatiques Dunlop, Paris (1911-1954).
The Dunlop tyre has been developed by veterinary surgeon John Boyd Dunlop for his son's bicycle in 1888. Short after that he started a factory that opened branches in several countries. The branch in Paris has used various perfins. It looks like perfin type 4 is missing a pin.

Perfin Dunlop
Type 1, 1929-1954

Perfin Dunlop
Type 2, 1913-1952

Perfin Dunlop
Type 3, 1925-1932

Perfin Dunlop
Type 4, 1911-1939


S.I.P. - Società Italiana Pirelli, Milaan (unknown).
Founded in 1872 as Pirelli & C. by Giovanni Pirelli, and in the 30-ies renamed into Soc Italiana Pirelli. First a small rubber factory, but already soon they produced bicycle, motor and car tyres.

Letter Pirelli

Letter Pirelli

Perfin Pirelli


GY - Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Goodyear (unknown).
Frank Seiberling named his company in 1898 after the inventor of vulcanised rubber: Charles Goodyear. Now the company is the biggest producer of tyres with branches all over the world, also in the Netherlands.

Perfin GoodyearPerfin Goodyear

Great Brittain:

DRC - Dunlop Rubber Company (unknown).
No image.

DP/TCo - Dunlop Pneumatic / Tyre Company (unknown).
No image.

K/LG - KLG Sparking Plugs Ltd, Putneyvale (unknown).
No image.

I don't have the illusion that this is all, but there are for sure much more perfins that belong to our theme than I expected in first instance. The search is continued, after new, unknown perfins and after specimens to add to my collection. When there are people who know other perfins that are not in the list, I would be very glad to hear to complete my list.

Nico Helling


For more info about perfins (in Dutch):


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