Addressograph Model 70
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Addressograph Model 70

Authentic WWII Notched dog tags are available custom imprinted with your information thru our on-line catalog.

Please visit our on-line catalog to purchase notched dog tags.



The Addressograph Model 70 Medical Imprinter was designed for one sole purpose and that was to transfer the imprinted information on dog tags onto military paperwork. 

To facilitate the proper orientation of the imprinted information on to the military paperwork the Addressograph Model 70 utilized the "notch" in the WWII, Korean and Viet Nam dog tags to properly orient and locate the tag for the imprinted transfer of information.

The imprinted dog tag will only fit into the Addressograph Model 70 one way and fully seat into the proper position.  Once seated in the proper position the Addressograph Model 70 will then operate and the information imprinted on a given tag can be transferred to the paperwork much like old credit card receipt machines transferred embossed credit card information onto paper receipts.

If a imprinted dog tag is inserted into the Addressograph Model 70 backwards, upside down or incorrectly it will not properly seat into the operating position on the Addressograph Model 70 and the device will not work. 

The answer the question for all those wanting to know what the "notch" in the dog tag was for - is simple, it was a locating notch used to properly orient the "imprinted" dog tag in the Addressograph Model 70.

Simply put - there is NO other use for the notch and the military engineers that drafted the specifications and drawings for the military identification tags known as dog tags had no other intentions when they designed in the "notch" other than for the Addressograph Model 70.

Information on the Addressograph Model 70

  • The Addressograph Model 70's sole function was to transfer imprinted information onto military paperwork. 

  • The Addressograph Model 70 could not imprint, deboss or emboss dog tags.  The Addressograph Model 70 had only a rubber pad and a inked ribbon so that the imprinted information could be transferred to paperwork. 

  • The Addressograph Model 70 did not have any punches or dies and could not imprint information onto a blank tag or plate. 


*** DogTagsRus just purchased an Addressograph Model 70.***

The Addressograph Model 70 is here !!!!!!!!!!!!! 

As soon as we have time to review and inspect the device we will be taking detailed photographs and preparing a full technical write up to be made available here.  Check back often, information will be updated as soon as it is available.

This is a photo of the unit we purchased this photo came from the seller.

Here is a close up of the data plate clearly indicating "Model 70"

This photo is from the seller.

The Addressograph Model 70 is the medical imprinter that used the notch on the WWII military dog tags, this "notch" was actually a "locating notch" and is referred to in both Addressograph and government documentation as "locating notch."  The Model 70 was issued to medics in the field during WWII.  The purpose of the Model 70 was to allow the medic to take a soldiers identification tag and transfer the information on the tag to medical documents by imprinting the text directly onto the document.  The Model 70 would accept a notched dog tag and would then transfer the information on the soldiers dog tag to medical paperwork in the field.

Addressograph Model 70

The Addressograph Model 70 is a "pistol" shaped device that was issued to the medic's in the field during WWII.  The medic would load a soldiers notched dog tag into the front of the device using the notch to locate and orient the tag in the model 70.  With a squeeze of the handle the unit would imprint the dog tag information on a document with a carbon or typewriter like ribbon. 

The unit works much like the manual credit card imprinter that is used to imprint your credit card information onto a sales slip.  You insert the credit card in the imprinter and slide the handle "bridge" across the credit card and sales slip and it imprints your credit card information onto the sales slip.

This photo shows the proper loading and orientation of the identification tag using the "locating notch" on the Addressograph Model 70.  The tri-angular section with the "spring clip", is where the ribbon is located that transferees ink to the paper document which leaves the permanent text.

The area highlighted in blue shows how the text appeared on a document that was imprinted using the Addressograph Model 70 and an identification tag.  Notice you can faintly make out the border of the identification tag on the right hand side of the name.  Clearly you can see the radius and edge of the tag in the upper right, the through hole for the necklace and in the lower right you can faintly see the bottom corner of the tag.

One description of the Addressograph Model 70 says:

WWII Addressograph Printer, Model 70. This is a Medical Department item issued to medics to print the information off of I.D. tags onto wound tags. Tag is inserted in the top and the tag in the bottom and the trigger is pulled, thus capturing the information via carbon ribbon onto the tag.

Official nomenclature of the Addressograph Model 70 is said to be:

Addressograph pistol-type imprinting machine, Model 70, Medical Department Item # 99387

Technical Information on the Addressograph Model 70:

a. The Addressograph Model 70 weighs, xxx lbs.
b. The color of the Model 70 is Olive Drab Green
c. There are two styles of paint on the Addressograph Model 70, The upper body and 1/2 of the lower body utilize a crinkle finish type paint, while the ribbon shroud and the handle and pistol grip are a smooth paint.
d. Body and part of of sheet metal or castings.  Castings have minimal finish machining, most areas are as cast with no clean up.  All sheet metal has sharp edged removed.
e. The Model 70 is assembled with riviets and screws.

Key features

1. Feed reel and Take up reel with knobs for inked ribbon:

The feed reel for the ribbon is located under a sheet metal removable shroud.  To the rear of the feed reel there is a knob that protrudes out of the housing.  The knob is knurled aluminum and is marked with a circular arrow to indicate the direction the take up reel should be wound for proper operation.

The take up reel is located under a sheet metal removable shroud and is on the right hand side of the unit.  The tension knob is located to the rear of the reel and is outside the take up reel housing.  The aluminum knob is knurled and is marked with a circular arrow to indicate the direction the operator should wind the take up reel.

The feed and take up reels are spring loaded for tension to prevent the reels from rotating freely.  The operator must advance the ribbon by manually rotating the knurled knobs located on either side of the unit.

2. Inked ribbon:

The inked ribbon is used to transfer the information from the identification plates to desired paperwork.  The inked ribbon is 1-3/4" wide and appears to be about 20 feet long.  The ribbon itself is much like a heavy cloth ribbon one would find in an old manual typewriter.  The ribbon material has the consitency of a very heavy semi-thick cotton cloth much like a standard inked stamp pad found in many offices.  Ribbon is saturated with a very heavy black ink.  The ribbon feeds from left to right from a feed reel to a take up reel.

3. Addressograph Model 70 name plate:

The Identification plate or name plate is made of thin strip aluminum.  It is rectangular in shape and is approximately 22x22 in size.  The identification / data plate is located on the left hand side of the unit in the middle of the body.  The plate contains the following information:

MODEL 70                                           SERIAL NO. 72691
CLEVELAND                        OHIO
MADE IN USA                    PAT NO. 2 16235 AND OTHERS

The name plate is held to the body by two rivets.

4. Line imprinting selector:

The line imprinting selector is an interesting feature of the Addressograph Model 70.  There are three settings that the operator can select on the fly.  The small aluminum knob is marked with the numbers "2", "5", and "3".  The operator can select "2" and the unit will imprint only the first two lines of information.  If the "5" is selected the model 70 will imprint all five lines of the identification tag.  When "3" is selected the Addressograph will only print the three last lines of the tag, used if the operator wanted to only capture the "Next of Kin" information.

At the three o' clock position is a indicating notch that shows the operator which embossing selection is currently engaged.

The line selector rotates a shaft that has ground flats that when rotated either engage or dis-engage the imprinting blocks.

5. Pistol Grip and squeeze handle:

The Addressograph Model 70 has a pistol grip that protrudes down from the main upper and lower bodies of the unit.  The pisol grip is located at the rear of the unit just below the piviot point.  There is a squeeze handle that follows the foward contour of the pistol grip and is actually protruding through the front of the pistol grip. 

The squeeze handle is as its name implies a handle that is squeezed to make the Addressograph Model 70 imprint.  Inside the pistol grip between the heal of the grip and squeeze handle is a heavy main spring that returns the squeeze handle to its outward position after use.

The squeeze handle is cast aluminum and is solid with a contoured shape to fit the human hand.

6. Tag guide:

The tag guide is of bent sheet metal that protrudes 0.300" from the front of the unit.  The tag guide is formed to make a flat "U" shaped tray or guide.  The operator places a identification tag or dog tag into the starting lips of the tag guide and then presses the entire tag into the center section of the unit.  The dog tag will then proceed to follow the tag guide until the locating notch in the tag bottoms out on the notch pin.

The tag guide has a spring steel tensioner that allows the tag to be pressed in and removed but does not allow the tag to fall out of the unit.

7. Notch locating pin:

This is the one feature of the machine that has caused so much contreversy.  The locating pin is pressed into the aluminum stamping block of the upper housing.  The locating pin protrudes downward approimately 0.050"- 0.060" from the aluminum block.

It is this locating pin that locates on the notch in the WWII, Korean and Vietnam dog tags or identification tags.  If a tag is inserted into the machine upside down or incorrectly and the locating notch does not bottom out on the locating pin the tag will not print correctly.

This pin is the only reason for the notch in the WWII style military dog tags. 

8. Stamping blocks:

The Addressograph Model 70 has three sets of cast aluminum stamping blocks.  There is one upper block and two lower blocks.

The upper block is fixed and does not move.  The upper block is permanently located in the upper housing and forms a flat working surface for the identification tag.  The upper block is where the tag locating pin is located.

On the lower body there are two stamping blocks.  The lower stamping blocks are located inside the main portion of the lower body within the hollow center of the front section.  One stamping block is approximately 0.350" wide while the other is 0.525" wide.  The shorter of the two is used to imprint the first two lines of informationtion from a dog tag while the wider block will imprint the last three lines of text.  Both stamping blocks are cast aluminum that has been finished machine with a very dense heavy rubber attached on the top flat of each block.

This rubber acts much the same as a rubber stamp allowing the debossed text of the dog tags to imprint ink from the ribbon and to leave an impression on the stamped paper.

Both lower stamping blocks operate indepenantly of each other and piviot at the rear of the unit.  The operator must select which stamping blocks are to be used by using the selector located on the left hand side of the unit.

9. Carry ring:

There is a carry ring located at the rear of the unit and is attached at the piviot point between the upper and lower bodies.  The locating ring is rectanglar shaped.  The ring rotates freely about the piviot point and is non-removable.

10. Lower body:

The lower body actually moves and piviots up and down.  The upper body is fixed and does not move.  The lower body is mainly composed of sheet metal and stamped components.  The lower body appears to have much more mass than it actually does, the lower body is comprised of two stamped metal side plates joined together to form a arm that is primarily hollow on the inside.  Between these two side plates are many of the internal components such as the stamping blocks, tension springs and adjustment screws to mention a few.

11. Upper body:

The upper body is sheet metal and a castings that has been finished machined on selected surfaces.  Cast into the body on the upper spine of the unit are the words: "MED. DEPT. U.S. ARMY".  Located just in front of the spine and words is a round spring loaded catch that serves to hold the sheet metal shroud in place.  This sheet metal shroud covers the inked ribbon, feed reel and take up reel.

12. Sheet metal shroud:

The sheet metal shroud is semi-triangular in design with large radiused corners.  The sheet metal shroud covers the inked ribbon, feed reel and take up reel.  The top of the shroud is flat with a notch at one end and a shaped spring steel clip on the other end.  The slot is for locking the shroud to the body while the spring clip is for holding a second identification tag while it is not being used.  On the front or nose of the shroud there is a locating clip that locates into a slot on the feed and take up reel housing.  The sheet metal shroud is fabricated by spot welding.  Underside of the shroud is not painted, the outside of the shroud is painted olive drab green.  The metal shroud is locked securly in place by both the locating clip and the spring loaded catch.

Author Note:  After exstensive examination of the Addressograph Model 70, the unit appears to be well built and engineered for the rigors of field use.  The only exception is the sheet metal shroud that covers the inked ribbon, feed reel and take up reel, this shroud is the only weak point in the device.  The shroud is of thin sheet metal and if dropped or bumped would dent easily.  The shroud is held in place by both the clip on the front and the spring loaded catch at the rear but does move freely when grasped by the hand.  With the exstensive use of castings and heavy metal stampings I think it would have been a better choice to make the shroud from heavier gauge material to give it more robust properties and strength.


In WWII Medics, Litter Bearers, Aid Station peronnel and Aidmen were supossed to be protected by the Geneva Convention and were to be treated as Medical personnel and not as combat soldiers.  In essence the shooting of any medical personnel was against the rules of the Geneva Convention.  There are several pages on the Internet that cover the WWII medic in detail and these links can be found in our RESOURCES page.  Here at DogTagsRus we are asked everytime we go to a show what the Addressograph Model 70 looks like.

Why are there not many examples of the Addressograph Model 70? 

One theory came from Mr. H. Brewer of H. H. Brewer Co., in Tallahassee, Florida.  Mr. Brewer owns a WWII militaria shop that buys and sells WWII militaria.  Mr. Brewer told me that many of these units were destroyed during WWII because the Addressograph Model 70's were getting the medics killed in the field.  It seems that medics were being shot by the Germans just as regular soldiers.  The Americans caught several German prisoners and interviewed them to find out why they were shooting the medics.  The German prisoners said it is because the medics were "armed."  When questioned further the German prisoners said the medics were armed with pistols and as such they were being shot as soldiers instead of medics.

Further research and prisoner interviews determined that the medics were carrying the Addressograph Model 70 imprinters and the imprinters were shaped like a pistols so it appeared to the Germans that the medics were "armed," with pistols or side arms.  Once confirmed the commanders in the field ordered all their medics to dispose of their Addressograph Model 70's in any manner they could.  Mr. Brewer indicated there were stories of medics throwing their Model 70's in ditches all over the European theater. 

If in fact all of this is true about the GI medics throwing their Model 70's in the trash then in reality this was no real loss.  Some of the best ideas on paper don't work out in the field.  The Model 70 was a cantankerous machine, it required maintenance, it required supplies (carbon ribbon), it was extra weight and an additional piece of equipment that the medic had to keep up with.  In reality the Model 70 maybe only saved a few seconds over hand writing the text.  The printed results varied due to conditions and at times were illegible to the point that hand writing would have been a better alternative over the imprinting. 

With all the limitations the Model 70 had and the fact that it could be mistaken as a pistol in the field by your enemy it most surely was the right decision to disband this device if for nothing else but self preservation.

While many of these Addressograph Model 70's were destroyed by the medic's during WWII there are still plenty of specimens that can be found here in the states.  Many of these units have found homes in the hands of collectors, museums and military enthusiasts.

It is speculated that there might have been a canvas holster issued with this unit.  If anyone has information on any such holster for the Addressograph Model 70 please e-mail us direct at  We want to verify the existence of any such holster for this unit. 

DogTagsRus has just purchased an Addressograph Model 70 Medical Imprinter.  We hope to be updating our photographs of this unit as soon as we receive the unit.

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