National Postal Museum Tour

National Postal Museum Lab

With these important pieces of forensic equipment on site, the NPM is now capable of performing very sophisticated analyses. IAP (and other) researchers may use these facilities by making arrangements with Susan Smith at the NPM.

VSC 6000

The VSC 6000 desktop video spectral comparator is a comprehensive digital imaging system providing an extensive range of facilities for detecting irregularities on altered and counterfeit stamps and other documents. The VSC 6000 is equipped with a high-resolution color camera and zoom lens, a range of viewing filters, and multiple illumination sources from UV to visible to IR wavelengths. Instrument functions are selected and controlled through a simple graphical user interface and the Windows operating system. An integral microspectrometer allows measurement of reflectance, transmission, and fluorescent features. The Foster Freeman website has more information.

National Postal Museum Lab Tour

The Bruker Tracer II-SD is a state-of-the-art forensic device for performing elemental analyses of samples. This allows philatelic researchers to determine, for example, the composition of inks on stamps. The Bruker website has more information.

National Postal Museum Lab Tour



The Leica Microscope, Model M205C, with magnification range from 78x to 1600x, is used in conjunction with the VSC 6000 and its software to record close examination details.

National Postal Museum Micrometer

The Testing Machines Inc. model 49-76-01 is a precision micrometer suitable for measuring thin sheet materials such as paper, board, tissue paper, and cardboard. The measuring range is 0.000-1.250 mm with a resolution of 0.1 μm. The anvil diameter is 1.59 cm (0.68 inches) with a contact pressure of 7.3 psi and conforms to TAPPI T-411 standards. It features a large digital display, auto zero, motorized auto cycling, and a serial port for data communications to graph master software with results exported to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.