Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Canada Post Office
General Purpose Cachets
1949 - 1973

From 1949 to 1973, Canada Post Office produced general purpose cachets to service first day covers. Canada Post Office produced its own first day covers for a variety of reasons which included presentations, replacements for damaged first day covers, and international publicity mailings.

Examples of general purpose cachets are in the National Archives collection and are posted on the Library and Archives website. Five types have been identified in the Archives records.

Type 1 : Crown

The Type 1 cachet made its first appearance with the George VI definitive set issued on November 19, 1949, and was replaced in 1965.

Replacement FDC with insert

Printing Order Numbers

The 1949 cachet did not have a printing order number, but later on such numbers were added to the cachet. Examples are shown below:

P.S. 2-10M-4-11-60

P.S. 2-1--2-62

Type 2 : Canadian Coat of Arms and Flags

The Type 2 cachet featuring the Canadian Coat of Arms and crossed Canadian flags was introduced in late 1965. The cachet was used in 1966 but suspended in 1967 while the Centennial (Type 3) cachet was used to service first day covers during the Centennial year. Usage of the Type 2 cachet resumed for the first part of 1968 until the Type 4 cachet was issued.

October 13, 1965

Different Usages

Addressed to GPO Ottawa (pencil)

Publicity first day cover to Belgium

Canada Post Office used the Type 2 cachet above as well as the newly introduced Type 4 cachet (see below) to service this issue.

Type 3: Centennial Symbol

During the 1967 Centennial year, Canada Post Office used a special Centennial general purpose cachet. Similar to the Type 2 design, the Type 3 had the added elements of the Centennial symbol and text "Centennial Year of Confederation". The Type 3 cachet was only used in 1967.

Replacement First Day Cover to Montreal

Type 4 : Maple Leaf

In May 1968, the Type 2 cachet was replaced with Type 4 which featured a single red maple leaf. The Type 4 was in use until 1971.

The Type 2 cachet was also used for this issue. (See above)

Different Usages

Publicity first day cover to Jamaica

Replacement sent to Vancouver

Type 5 : Maple Sapling

A maple sapling is shown on the Type 5 cachet which was appropriately introduced for the first day of issue of the Maple in Spring stamp, April 14, 1971. Canada Post Office continued using the Type 5 cachet until 1973.

Mosdossy Cachet

A sixth type of Canada Post Office general purpose cachet, used in 1972 and 1973 for international publicity mailings, does not appear to be in the Archives collection. This is a cachet designed by Imre von Mosdossy featuring a map of Canada within which are images representing Canadian cultures, industry, and wildlife. The lettering and outline of the map are embossed in gold colour. Modossy's name is printed in smaller lettering at the bottom of the cachet.

Imre von Mosdossy (1904 - 1995) was born in Budapest . From 1934 to 1942 he designed the decor for many Hungarian exhibitions including the Hungarian Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He was senior professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. He left Hungary in 1945 and came to Canada via Germany, France and Colombia in 1963. He did portraits of world leaders and interiors for churches. He designed more than 900 postage stamps for various countries, including the 1968 Canadian International Hydrological Decade stamp. (from Hungarian Studies Review)

(See comment below from Imre von Mosdossy's granddaughter)

With "First Day Cover- Jour D'Emission"


Without "First Day Cover- Jour D'Emission"

Rosecraft Commercial Covers Used for Publicity Mailings : 1963-65

In addition to the six types of general purpose cachets for its international publicity mailings, Canada Post Office also used "Rosecraft" commercial first day cover cachets. These can be identified by the distinctive printed addresses and the insert from CPO describing the new issue.


Sir Martin Frobisher

 August 21, 1963 to Katiwice, Poland

First Postal Land Route

September 25, 1963 to Johanessburg, South Africa

15 cent Definitve Stamp

October 30, 1963 to Johannesburg, South Africa


7 cents Definitive Stamp

March 11, 1964 to Katowice, Poland

Peace on Earth

April 8, 1964 to St. Thomas, Jamaica

Maple Leaf Unity

May 14, 1964 to Brazzaville, Congo

Floral Emblem Series : Ontario and Quebec

June 30 , 1964 to Brazzaville, Congo

Charlottetown Conference

July 29, 1964 to Canadian Ambassador, Tokyo Japan

Quebec Conference

 September 9, 1964

Royal Visit 1864

October 5, 1964 to Johannesburg, South Africa

Christmas 1964

October 14, 1964

8 cent Definitve Stamp

November 18, 1964 to Johannesburg


Floral Emblem : Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

February 3, 1965 to Lisbon, Portugal

International Co-operation Year

March 3, 1965 to Kingston, Jamaica

Floral Emblem Series : Manitoba and British Columbia

 April 18, 1965 to Lisbon, Portugal

Sir Wilfred Grenfell

June 9, 1965 to Kingston, Jamaica

Canadian Flag
June 30, 1965 to Kingston, Jamaica

Floral Emblem Series : Prince Edward Island
July 21, 1965 to Lisbon, Portugal

Sir Winston Churchill

August 12, 1965 to Johannesburg, South Africa
Inter-Parliamentary Union Congress

September 8, 1965 to Kingston, Jamaica

 Ottawa National Capital Centennial

 September 8, 1965 to Tokyo, Japan

Other Canada Post Office Cachets

8 cents Centennial FDC

December 30, 1971


The cover below was cancelled at Toronto on March 17, 1972, and distributed at the Plewacki Post Stamp Show, Buffalo, N.Y., March 24 -26, 1972


1973 : Canadian Postal Users' Conference