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Example of a Commercial "Local" 1f Postcard.

This is an example of a 1f imprinted postcard used commercially. Even if the translation was not provided you would guess that the purpose was to collect a meter reading. The card was sent by the Financial Department of Manchzhur Electric based in Harbin.
The address reads

Street Novogoradnaya, house # 64
City of Pristan
Financial Department of Manchzhur Electric, branch Harb.

Pristan is a romanization of npkmam, the Russian word for wharf or pier. The 1913 official Japanese guidebook said that Pristan was the name both of a railway station at the edge of the Sungari River and of the large triangular area "the real business quarter of Harbin" between the river and Harbin Central Station. The guidebook says the Chinese called that area Tao-li. This information is based upon an article in Japanese Philately Vol 43 #2 April 1988


The card reads

If your electricity meter looks like this (top picture), write down the digits where the arrows are pointed to. If your electricity meter is digital (bottom picture), write down the numbers into this table.  If you only see half of the digit, put down the smaller one (round down) 

. . . . . . . .  Street name.  house # . . . . . . . .
Electricity meter box # . . . . . . . . . .
Mr  . . . . . . . .
Today our representative visited your home for a meter reading and could not obtain the meter reading because no one was home to open the door.  We are requesting that take a look at your electric meter and write down the meter reading using the instructions table on the left.  In the event that you do not respond back to us with this information, the bill for this month will be calculated presumably and then starting next month after a successful inspection we will recalculate using the actual readings. 

City of Pristan
Street Novogoradnaya
Billing/Collections Department of the Utilities Department,

The Chinese/Japanese Version

My thanks to Boris for the Russian translation.