by Madhukar & Savita Jhingan

India Security Press at Nasik was setup in 1925 and took over the printing of postage stamps, postal stationery and the entire range of revenue stamps and papers from De La Rue & Co., London. Three years later it has taken over the work of printing the currency from the Bank of England too. Nasik was then a major security printing establishment in this part of the world. Apart from printing all kinds of articles for the various departments of the Government of India, provincial and local governments, and of Indian Princely States, it printed for over 25 countries.

The De La Rue was required to send the correspondence to the Director General of Post Offices of India through a very circuitous route, going via several bureaucratic channels, both in England and in India, and each office keeping a copy for their record. In contrast there was a direct communication between Nasik and the Post Office. As far as the postal issues are concerned no other office was involved. Consequently today very little record is available in the archives for post-De La Rue period. This poses a great challenge to all research scholars. The postal issues since 1925 to 1947 are yet to be cataloged properly as even Stanley Gibbons catalogs can not provide date of issue for several Nasik issues, to say the least.

One of the pet project we have is the writing of a book on 200 Years of Security Printing in India 1797 - 1997, and Nasik issues cover last 72 years. So we pursue something even remotely connected with Nasik with great zeal.

Recently while researching the Nasik issues we came across a typewritten report titled the Verified Balances in the Central Stamp Store, Nasik as at 31st March 1943. The Central Stamp Store is still in its original location, within the premises of the Security Press. The report had the following information on Ceylon Postal Orders which was printed at Nasik.

Denomination Quantity Manufacturing Value
in Rupees-Annas-Pies
Rs 2 123,500 609-13-0
Rs 2.50 25,000 123-07-0
Rs 3 118,500 585-02-0
Rs 4 31,000 153-01-0
Rs 5 42,000 207-06-0

The first two items and remaining three items were given separately at serial 526-527 and 942-945 respectively. We have not been able to figure out if this has any significance, such as two separate issues. Normally the changes in the designs and even in the overprinting is clearly noted for other items but in this case it simply says Ceylon Postal Orders. We have a feeling that when we disturb the sleeping old records to satisfy our curiosity, the records have a way to settle the scores and getting even by throwing up more questions than answers.

These denominations are in additions to 50 Cents and Rs 1.50 of King George VI issue illustrated in the article by Jack Harwood in Postal Order News # 32.

First published in Postal Order News,Journal of the Postal Order Society, Vol.11 Part 3, Whole # 41, July 1996
Copyright ? 1996-1999 MSJ. All rights reserved.



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