By Alar Pastarus

The World Postal Congress which took place in Madrid, Spain in 1920 gave permission to member countries to use postal meters for franking both domestically and internationally. Red ink was required for mail sent outside the country. The legal basis for use of postal meters was recorded in Estonia in 1927 (State Gazette No 55) but the postal authorities did not react before an Addendum in State Gazette, dated March 30, 1929, was issued.

Two types of postal meters were authorized: "Frankotyp" and "Midget". Licensees were sold at 500 Krooni. The first postal meter appeared in September 1929. A total of 27 licensees were issued to 31 different users. They all used red ink for franking purposes and postal meter of type "Frankotyp". At the beginning of 1941 (under Soviet Union occupation) text was made bi-lingual with the denomination circle in Russian. They were in use until August 1941. Also slogans were changed to both Estonian and Russian.

Used covers seems to be somewhat difficult to find. I have not seen a complete collection.

The "Estonia Philately & Postal History Handbook" by Vambola Hurt and Elmar Ojaste (in English and German) gives additional information about the Estonian franking meter marks.