stamp sheets

A man enters an office supply store. He was a mere mortal seconds before, but as he passes through the door he becomes a customer. His superior gaze drifts across his domain and settles on the cashier. 

“Do you sell stamps?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say,” However-”

“I want one.”

However, we sell them only in sets of ten.”

“But I want one.”

“I’m sorry, Sir, but I can’t sell you a single stamp.”

“Can’t you just…” He (skillfully) mimicks the act of ripping apart paper. 

Clearly, I have never thought of this. My simple mind grapples with the idea. I realize I am dealing with a genius, and yet, I regretfully inform him, “Sorry. They come on stickersheets, and anyways, the barcode–”

“Well that’s just rubbish,” he informs me. He is right. I realize this now. His genius ignites a spark within me. 

“You are right,” I tell him as I take fifteen sheets of stamps into my hands and begin to tear them apart. I type 0,019 stamps and press a non-existent key on the register. I hold out a quarter of a stamp to the customer (with a smile), but he shakes his head (without a smile). I rip apart all the stamps I can find, desperate to please him, for he has gifted this humble store with his presence. From the pieces, I begin to assemble a perfect, custom-made stamp. It is worth exactly 66,66€. I single-handedly reprogramme not only my cash desk, but the entire system. It can now scan any stamp in (or out of) existence. It is raining stamps. I am smiling.

Two hours later, it is done. Beaming, and covered in the torn remains of hundreds of unfortunate stamps, I hold the perfect stamp out to The Customer. He accepts it. I rejoice. It might just be my high fever and blurry gaze, but I think the right corner of his mouth moved upwards for exactly half a second. I am blessed. 

He licks the stamp and slaps it onto a letter. He wants to lend a pen. I lend him a pen. When he is done, he holds the letter out to me expectantly. He does not say a word, my silent angel, but I can tell what he wants. Thus is our connection. There is nothing, I assure you, nothing I would have rather done than to accept his letter, on my knees, with tears of gratitude streaming down my cheeks… But alas: 

“I want to send the letter,” my dear customer finally says, after the silence has stretched into infinity and back.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Sir,” I say with a polite smile, brushing stamps off my shoulders, “We don’t accept mail. We only sell stamps.” 

After all, you can’t make exceptions to a well-established rule in the workplace. 

The customer doesn’t bat an eyelash. “That’s okay,” he says with a disarming smile. “I wouldn’t ask the impossible of you.” 

As he turns to walk away, a single tear rolls down my cheek. I wipe it off with a stamp that wears his majestic face, hand-stitched by me. 

I don’t tell him there’s a mailbox around the corner.

(That’s not my job.) 

In-depth: the Lanchester & Sten

After the British Expeditionary Force’s retreat from Dunkirk in June 1940, Germany was expected to attempt a full-scale invasion of Britain. In order to accomplish this, they would need to eliminate the Royal Air Force, and as such, the RAF’s airfields were at serious risk. The RAF wanted a Schmeisser-type submachine gun issued to their personnel in the event of an attack from German paratroopers. The Navy had already ordered 2000 Smith & Wesson 9mm carbines and the Army, who by now had realized that they had vastly underestimated the military effectiveness of the submachine gun, began buying Thompsons from the United States.

The Biwarip machine carbine, an early precursor to the Sten made in 1938 and tested by the Small Arms Committee. Remarkably modern for its time.

The RAF initially examined captured MP-38s and ordered 10,000 British-made copies, but there were complications that resulted not only in the weapons being changed from copies of the MP-38 to the MP-28, but also the order being increased to 50,000 to satisfy the Navy as well, who had been forced to abandon the S&W carbines due to serious malfunctions. Sterling Armaments Co. was contracted to produce the initial prototypes of the MP-28 copy. The resultant weapon was finished, in the form of two pilot guns, in late 1940 and demonstrated on the 8th of November. The pilot guns were designed by George Lanchester and thus were named after him.

Lanchester Pilot Gun 3. For whatever reason, this model appears to have no rear sights. It was tested in November 1940.

Lanchester Pilot Gun 4. This is the model used for endurance trials and was essentially the finished product. Tested on the 28th of November 1940.

The Lanchester pilot guns were tested again on the 13th of November 1940 and were tested with a variety of 9x19mm catridges, including Winchester flat-nose, ICI, Bergmann, Beretta, and German military issue. The first pilot gun failed to discharge the Winchester and ICI ammunition, but the second did not run into any major issues and was considered on-par with the German MP-38.

On November 28th, further trials of the Lanchester pilot guns took place in the presence of both George Lanchester and Major Reginald V. Shepherd of the Design Department at RSAF Enfield. The Lanchester was now in its fourth pilot gun form and fired 5204 rounds with 26 stoppages. It passed all the mandatory tests but did not function when loaded with Beretta-made ammunition. Otherwise it was considered good to go and production rights were handed over to the Royal Navy for immediate manufacture as the Lanchester Mk.I. This weapon was issued to the Air Force and Navy until 1941, when it was simplified as the Mk.I*, which had no fire selector and fixed iron sights.

The Lanchester Mk.I. Known as the “British Schmeisser”. It was heavy, sturdy, and solidly built - typical of Naval manufacture.

The Lanchester Mk.I*. Fully-automatic only with fixed iron sights. Many Mk.I*s were simply modified Mk.Is, but were not marked as such.

The Lanchester was good but production costs were too high to equip the army. Something cheaper and quicker to manufacture was sought. In January 1941, an extremely simplified model was designed by George Lanchester and demonstrated at Enfield on the 10th of January 1941, and at Hythe on the 21st. The prototype was essentially a Lanchester stripped down to the bare minimum. It consisted of a simple tubular body made from steel and grips made from Tufnel. It was supposed to have a folding buttstock but for whatever reason this was never fitted. The only real change to the base design was the inclusion of a fire selector just in front of the trigger grouping. Otherwise it was internally the same as the Lanchester Mk.I.

A second simplified prototype was also conceived by George Lanchester and differed in that the cocking slot was now on the left side of the gun and had a much lighter bolt which was about an inch shorter than the original. The grips were redesigned to be more ergonomic, and a simple single-strut stock was fitted to the rear of the pistol grip.

The first simplified Lanchester prototype. Essentially the forerunner to the Sten. The cocking slot has a safety recess.

The second simplified Lanchester prototype. This version had left-hand cocking and a three-position fire selector.

Both simplified prototypes of the Lanchester were tested but rejected. But from this concept, the Sten was born. It was developed in early 1941 by Major Shepherd and Harold J. Turpin, who worked at the Design Department at Enfield. Thus the weapon was christened the STEN (Shepherd, Turpin, ENfield). The design was an incredibly simple blowback system based on the Lanchester with a fixed firing pin and simple cylindrical bolt. The first version of the Sten, the Mk.I, had wooden furniture, a conical flash hider, and a hinged fore grip, a feature not seen on any of the subsequent models. The Mk.I was cheaper than the Lanchester but still too expensive; it was simplified further as the Mk.I* in late 1941. The Mk.I* ditched the wooden embellishments, the flash hider and the fore grip feature. Throughout 1941, over 100,000 Mk.I and Mk.I* Stens were produced and issued to the army.

The Sten Mk.I. The original model of the Sten, with features such as a folding fore grip and a flash hider that were not seen in later models.

The Sten Mk.I*. The first of many steps to simplifying an already very basic gun. Although production was somewhat brief, thousands were made.

In mid-1941, the Mk.II Sten was designed. It was a bare-bones version of a gun which was already very basic. The main difference between the Mk.I and the Mk.II Stens was that the Mk.II had a new barrel that could not be interchanged with the original Mk.I barrel. The Mk.II barrel had only two grooves whereas the Mk.I had six. Externally, the Mk.II was incredibly minimalist. There were two main versions of the Mk.II produced: one with a wireframe stock and one with a single-strut stock. Neither were particularly pleasant to shoot, owing to the poor ergonomics. The upshot of all this was that the Mk.II Sten was incredibly cheap to produce en masse for the army and, as an added bonus, proved very easy for anti-Nazi partisans to copy in workshops.

The Mk.II Sten was tested at Pendine on from the 7th to the 25th of August 1941 and a glaring fault was discovered. The magazines were made from stamped sheet metal, which meant that the feed lips were prone to failure. If the magazine feed lips were misaligned even slightly with the magazine well, the gun would jam. The magazines were also highly susceptible to dirt and sand. All of this basically meant that the Mk.II Sten was highly unreliable if not handled with care, and even then it was probably inevitable that it would fail at some point during the heat of battle. But the army was faced with a choice between a mass of unreliable Mk.IIs, or a handful of Thompsons, Lanchesters and Mk.I Stens. They opted for the former.

The Sten Mk.II. The most successful version of the Sten, with several millions being manufactured during the war and used by various countries.

The Sten Mk.II with bayonet and single-strut stock.

Prototype T42 submachine gun, based on the Sten Mk.II. It had a single-column magazine and a redesigned trigger group.

Sten Mk.II with SMLE stock. This was made as an experimental model only and never issued.

Sten Mk.II with wireframe pistol grip, designed for paratroopers.

Copy of the Sten Mk.II made in a workshop by Danish partisans.

The Mk.II Sten was by far the most successful model of the Sten gun, with over 2,000,000 being produced throughout World War II. It was first issued to British and Canadian troops during the raid on Dieppe on the 19th of August 1942 and continued to be issued until 1945. It was also issued in considerable numbers to the Free French Forces, including the French Resistance.

In 1943, the toy manufacturer Line Brothers Ltd. were contracted to produce the Mk.III Sten, which was made from a single, riveted sheet metal tube that was welded at the top. The ejection also had an extra safety precaution that consisted of a simple finger guard. The barrel was fixed inside the tubular body, which could not be disassembled. In Canada, the Mk.III was manufactured by Long Branch Arsenal.

The Sten Mk.III. Manufactured by Line Bros. Yet another simplification to lower the cost of manufacture.

On the other hand, this prototype Mk.III with a wooden SMLE-style stock would have been substantially more expensive to manufacture.

An experimental Mk.III made at Enfield. The trigger grouping is level with the ejection and the cocking handle is on top.

The Mk.IV was the only one of the Sten “marks” not to be issued to the army. In fact, it never evolved past the prototype stage. It was designed in 1943 with paratroopers in mind, with a shorter barrel and folding stock. The first version of the Mk.IV had a conical flash hider and a very unusual pistol grip and trigger guard arrangement that was designed to facilitate for thick winter gloves. It was a mere 27 inches in length. After it was trialed at Pendine at rejected for improvements, a second version known as the Mk.IVB was developed which was designed to be fired with one hand. To achieve this, the balance of the weapon was changed by moving the trigger grouping forward to the middle of the gun. The trigger mechanism had to be completely redesigned to allow this. It was 24 inches in length but uncomfortable to fire. Besides its flaws, there was no immediate requirement for the Mk.IV model so it was never developed any further.

The Sten Mk.IV. Produced as a prototype only. It was designed for paratroopers and soldiers operating in cold weather conditions.

The Sten Mk.IVB. Designed to be fired one-handed. The shortest version of the Sten by far, it was more a machine pistol than a submachine gun.

The Sten Mk.IVS. A silenced prototype of which only one was ever made.

In 1944, the Mk.V Sten appeared. It was a much more presentable weapon and a far cry from the crude Mk.II  The Mk.V featured a wooden butt, pistol grip and fore grip. The fore grip was ditched in later models. The front sights were also redesigned and lifted from the No.4 SMLE service rifle. Internally, the bolt was improved with a cutaway that cleared the trigger disconnector when the bolt came over the sear. The resultant weapon was of excellent quality and made to a much higher standard than its precursors. Unfortunately, cheaply-made magazine were still being issued and consequently the Mk.V was still just as liable to failure as the earlier models, although this was not the fault of the gun itself.

The Mk.V Sten was issued extensively to paratroopers after D-Day and saw considerable use during Operation Market Garden in Arnhem, and issue of the Mk.V continued until the war in Europe ended in May 1945.

An early model Mk.V. This version had a fore grip which was not seen on later models. The stock could be detached for paratroopers.

The Sten Mk.V. The most polished version of the Sten manufactured during the war. It was much more reliable than the Mk.II and was issued in 1944.

Many variations of silenced Sten guns were also developed. British interest in silenced weapons began in 1940 when British Commandos demanded a quiet gun for eliminating lone sentries during covert raids. Initially they were issued silenced Thompsons made by RSAF Enfield, but these were too heavy and expensive to deploy in any numbers. When the Sten Mk.II appeared, Enfield developed a suppressed model called the Mk.IIS. It was designed by a Polish exile who was now serving with the Special Operations Executive, Lt. Kulikowski. The suppressor consisted of a series of metal cups wrapped around and in front of the barrel, with a rubber plug at the end. When the weapon was fired, the gases seeped out the sidewall of the barrel and their energy dissipated. The bullet traveled through the metal cups and penetrated the plug, which prevented the gases from escaping. These metal cups were encased in a perforated jacket which was surrounded by an additional jacket.

Prototype Mk.IIS. The silencer contained 24 baffles. With so much weight at the front end and so little in the stock, it would have been awkward to handle.

The Sten Mk.IIS. The most successful silenced weapon of World War II.

The Mk.IIS was issued to Commandos, the SOE, and other British special forces units, as well as resistance fighters across Europe. It was designed to be fired in single shots. Reportedly, the sound of the bolt was louder than the gunshot itself. The main drawback of the Mk.IIS was that it had an effective range of only 100 meters.

Sten Mk.II with an SOE-made silencer and basic wooden stock, issued to special agents in France.

The Sten Mk.VI. Basically the Mk.IIS principle applied to the Sten Mk.V. It replaced the Mk.IIS late in the war.

Late in the war, the Mk.V Sten was successfully silenced using a similar principle and this model was called the Mk.VI. It did not see as much use as the Mk.IIS but was probably, all factors considered, the best silenced weapon of the war. It was succeeded by the Sterling L34A1 silent submachine gun.


So I finished ‘13 Reasons Why’ last night, and I just want to say at first I regretted recommending it because it was so hard to watch, and I know the backlash has been very critical of the show. Watching it myself, it opened up a lot of old wounds, and I would be completely lying if I said it was “therapeutic” because it wasn’t. It hurt to watch. Through out the show I muted, cried, skipped ahead, walked away, paused or turned it off completely. But honestly, this was the first, the very first representation of the 'teenage’ experience I’ve EVER seen that wasn’t sugar coated, or cute, or *cool*. I’ll be eating my words when '13 Reasons’ merch ends up at Hot Topic, but honestly this was the very first representation I’ve personally viewed that didn’t romanticize the subject. It showed the cold, hard, and irreversible effects suicide has on your community, friends, family, and the scary last moments faced by victims. My entire life I always thought suicide would be my easy, legendary and cool romantic way out. I have never EVER seen it portrayed so horrifyingly. I’m glad I watched this series. I’m not pushing it on anyone, I’m not, but I’m glad it was on Netflix. Uncensored, graphic, and authentically done. I’ve never read the book, honestly, I didn’t even know it was a book, or what I was getting into when I started this series, but I’m glad I pushed myself through it. On my twitter I have reposted a 'trigger warning time stamp’ cheat sheet if you’re interested in watching the show but you’re not sure about viewing certain subjects, though it does contain spoilers. The show also does play a warning before very graphic episodes. What do you guys think though? Now that I’ve finished the series I’m interested in how other people interpreted the show. #13reasonswhy

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BSA-Howell self-loading SMLE rifle

Short Magazine Lee-Enfield MkIII conversion, manufactured in 1916 by Birmigham Small Arms company, serial number 2.
.303 British, 20 or 10 rounds box magazine, gas operated semi automatic, stamped sheet metal hand and face guards and pistol grip.

Although obviously more reliable than the Chauchat, the Lewis gun was not available in sufficient quantity during WW1 and the British army had to rely on some other ways to provide superior firepower to its soldiers. This was one such unfortunate yet awesome way.

Sauce : James D Julia Inc


TThe Lanchester Submachine Gun,

In 1940, in the early years of World War II the British Royal Air Force decided it wanted it’s own submachine gun for air field defense. Since Britain was in the midst of war and the evacuation of Dunkirk had occurred not long ago, there really was not the time or resources to design and produce a new weapon.  Thus designers decided to simply copy a tried and true design, a German submachine gun called the MP-28 designed by Hugo Schmeisser.  Named after George Herbert Lanchester of the Stirling Armaments Company, the Lanchester was quite different from the Sten.  Whereas the Sten was produced to be an economical weapon utilizing stamped sheet metal parts, the Lanchester was well made utilizing a carefully machined action and breech block.  One feature of the Lanchester that stands out is its brass magazine housing.  It also featured a bayonet mount and a heavy stock which utilizing shortened stocks from Lee Enfield bolt action rifles.

The Lanchester used either 32 or 50 round detachable magazines and was chambered for 9mm Luger.  They were produced in two models, the Mk.1 and the Mk.1*.  The Mk1* was a simplified version of the Mk1, with simpler sights and lacking a selector switch (thus it was fully automatic only).   Roughly 96,000 were produced, most of which were issued to the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.  A number were also issued to the Royal Air Force as well.


I need to hype about this here as well because OH MY GOD!!!

I’m taking a course on book history, meaning the history of the book as an object, how books have been made, who owned them, who sold them etc.
And today we had a guided tour of our university’s own library, and were given an introduction to the older and most book historically interesting pieces in the collection.
And holy fucking shit.
The book in the pictures.
The pages are from an incunable.
An incunable is a book printed in Europe before the 1500s, meaning the pages have been printed with one metal cast molded sheet stamp thing, instead of the more efficient way invented in the 1500s where you’d stack these metal letters and stuff to make a page, print the page, and arrange the letters again for a new one. Those pages are from the 1400s. 600 years old.
And I was allowed to touch them.




MG 39 Rh prototype general purpose machine gun

Designed by Louis Stange and Manufacture by Rheinmetall-Borsig in Sömmerda c.1937-39 - serial number 006.
7x57mm Mauser belt-fed, gas operated automatic, removable barrel, makes extensive use of stamped sheet metal and spot welding to facilitate production.

Made first to be a cheaper replacement for the MG34, the then widespread German prejudice against gas operated firearms - based on the thought that drilling the gas tap inside the barrel would affect ballistics - screwed it over in favor of the future MG42. The Rheinmetall company nevertheless developped their prototype further in the hope that the then disastrous short recoil competitor might be abandoned at a later date, at which point they would have a finished gun of a much higher quality than any other prototype for the Wehrmacht to look at.

Sauce : Forgotten Weapons


Issued in January by Tuvalu, was the new Women of Star Trek collection, featuring prominent female characters from all the prime timeline series. Like other recent releases, this series comes in the form of two miniature sheets, one featuring six stamps, and the other a single higher value stamp.

The six stamp sheet stars Doctor Beverly Crusher of TNG, Nyota Uhura of TOS, Captain Kathryn Janeway of Voyager, Hoshi Sato of Enterprise, and two characters from DS9, Kira Nerys, and Jadzia Dax.

Seperate from the rest is a second Voyager character, Seven of Nine.

Haikyuu x Tokyo Dome City!

From Nov 12th to Jan 4th, Tokyo Dome City will have a collaboration with Haikyuu!
Ticket: ¥1800 (Stamp rally sheet + 3 attraction tickets)
You can get 1 of 7 random original sticker if you managed to collect 6 stamps. Also, you can test your luck in a lottery if you join the “Double Chance”. Double chance game information will be announced later.

There’s going to be 8 Haikyuu attractions inside Tokyo Dome City, you can also meet the team members there! 

The attractions will be:

  1. フリフリグランプリ (Frilly Grandprix, Oikawa)
  2. スーパーバイキング ソラブネ (Super Viking Sorabune, Hinata)
  3. ブンブンビー (Bumble bee, Hinata)
  4. ピクシーカップ  (Pixie Cup, Kageyama)
  5. サンダードルフィン (Thunder Dolphin, Nishinoya)
  6. ワンダードロップ  (Wonder Drop, Hinata & Nishinoya)
  7. ビッグ・オー (The Big O)
  8. ブルームエクスプレス (Bloom Express, Kageyama)

You can also find a 1:1 scale characters and take pictures with them on Joypolis B1F! Character that’s going to present:

  1. Bokuto with hot dogs
  2. Oikawa acting childish with that silly car lol
  3. Excited Hinata
  4. Somehow cool Kageyama
  5. Ushijima the balloon seller
  6. Kuroo riding a white tiger

Also you can get an original can badge of yachi & kiyoko if you show your complete stamp rally sheet on the entrace of LaQua building!

These cuties will join us too in Tokyo Dome City!

(Schedule of their appearance will be announced later)

Collaboration menu & exclusive goods are soon to be announced!!

M3A1 “Grease Gun” submachine gun

Designed by George Hyde c.1942 and manufactured by Guide Lamp - General Motors - c.1943~50′s.
.45ACP 30-round magazine, open bolt blowback full automatic, stamped sheet metal construction, hinged bolt dust cover.

Designed to replace the Thompson submachine guns as a cheaper alternative, it failed to enter a big enough production rate to achieve that. It still remained in service until the 1990′s as a vehicle crew weapon.

TBH my dream rifle is a gun with a stoner gas-system (AR-15) with an AR-18-type BCG, a non-reciprocating left-side-charging handle that also acts as a forward assist, and a clamshell body with a forged aluminum (or stamped sheet, I’m not picky) upper that contains the whole firing mechanism save for the trigger.

With body-styling reminiscent of the Kriss Vector, and AR-15 controls.


this is the kind of thing i imagine post collapse guns looking like - simple weapons made from scrap sheet metal stamped on crude pressing machines, maybe even hand operated ones.

like, i’m sure milling would still be a thing but it’s labour intensive hand filing that takes a lot of skill.


The SKS Semi Automatic Rifle,

Before World War II the Soviet Union had intended to update their small arms arsenal by phasing out the Mosin Nagant bolt action rifle and replacing it with a semi automatic design.  This process began with notable models such as the AVS-36, SVT-38, and the SVT-40. However, due to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, such plans could not be fully realized and as a result the bolt action rifle remained the backbone of the Red Army. As the war drew to a close Soviet ordnance officials once again began the search for a new semi automatic rifle to become the standard infantry arm of the Soviet military.  However, unlike other designs, the new weapon was to be of carbine length, based on lessons learned from brutal urban combat on the Eastern Front, and use an intermediate cartridge similar to the German STG-44.

In 1944 the Soviet small arms designer Sergei Simonov began work on a new semi automatic carbine which used a recently invented intermediate cartridge, the 7.62X33mm.  The new SKS (Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova - Self Loading Carbine) was a simple, rugged, and effective weapon which used a gas operated tilting bolt semi automatic action. It incorporated a ten round fixed magazine which was loaded using stripper clips (some models would use 30 round detachable magazines). The stock was made of hardwood, and later laminate, while the receiver and magazine were of stamped sheet metal. Like most Russian small arms, the SKS was designed with simplicity, economy, and ease of manufacture in mind. As a result, the SKS was relatively simple to mass produce, making it one of the most prolifically mass produced firearms in history with over 15 million manufactured. Most models tend to have a folding bayonet attached underside the barrel. A cleaning kit is also located in a compartment within the stock.

Apparently pre-production trial runs of the SKS began in the waning months of World War II, although I have never seen any sources that confirm this. The SKS was officially adopted in 1949, only a few years after the invention of the AK-47. While the AK-47 was the much better weapon, with a select fire system and 30 round magazine, it was difficult to mass produce, had many production issues, and had some reliability issues to be worked out.  Thus the AK-47 did not become a mainstay of the Soviet military until an improved model called the AKM was introduced in 1959. Until then the SKS would serve as the backbone of the Soviet Armed Forces. In addition to Soviet production, Communist allies often produced their own models and variants.  The most common example is the Chinese Type 56, which was adopted by the Chinese military in 1956 and continued in official use for over 30 years. Other Communist bloc producers include Romania, Poland, Yugoslavia, Albania, North Korea, Vietnam, and East Germany. Millions were also exported to Soviet and Chinese influence countries around the world.  As a result of the SKS’s availability, they have been used in every conflict around the world for the past 50 years.

Today, the SKS has been officially withdrawn from most militaries, and are typically relegated as a reserve weapon or a ceremonial arm.  They are still common among small militias, terrorist organizations, freedom fighters, guerrillas, and other insurgent groups.  Many more are sold as military surplus on civilian markets as popular hunting rifles and sporting arms.