Sunday, October 6, 2013

Canada Post Office Publicity First Day Covers : Part 1 1960 - 1966

In 1960, Postmaster General William Hamilton introduced a publicity programme in which first day covers (FDCs) of Canadian stamps were mailed to dignitaries outside Canada. About 2000 government officials, philatelic journalist, Canadian embassy staff, and other VIPs were on the mailing list.  The project continued until 1973. This article covers the 1960 to 1966 period.


Canada's special publicity first-day covers designed for influential people abroad, Verge, Charles, J.G., Scott Stamp Monthly, October 2010, pp 30-32

The first stamp issue mailed to dignitaries abroad  was the commemorative stamp  honouring the 50th anniversary of the Girl Guides issued on April 20, 1960.

 Features of the Publicity FDCs

1. Envelopes : 1960 -66

Canada Post Office replacement FDC envelopes and commericial Rosecraft envelopes were used in the first six years of the programme.

a) Canada Post Office P.S. 2 Envelopes : 1960 - 1963

Initially, 5000 Canada Post  Office "P.S. 2" envelopes  with  a crown cachet were printed for the project. The P.S. 2 envelopes had been used to replace first day covers that were damaged in servicing.

i) January 25, 1960 printing order

P.S. 2 printing order January 25, 1960

ii) November 4, 1960 Printing Order

An additional 10,000 envelopes were printed.

iii)  February 16, 1962 Printing Order

The number of envelopes printed was not included

b) Rosecraft Commercial Cachets : 1963 - 1965 

From 1963 to 1965, the project used Rosecraft  first day cover envelopes supplied by J.C. Rosenbaum instead of  Canada Post Office printed envelopes.

i) Rosecraft Issue Specific Cachets : 1963 - 64

The first Roescraft cachets were issue specific envelopes which were used for five issues during the 1963 to 1964 period, beginning with the Frobisher issue on August 21, 1963.


 Rosecraft issue specific envelopes used as publicity FDCs

 ii) Rosecraft Generic Parliament Buildings Cachet : 1964 -1965

The Rosecraft generic Parliament buildings envelopes were used for 16 issues from 1964 to 1965, beginning with the Maple Leaf Unity Issue, May 14, 1964

The cachet for most issues was black, but red, blue and green cachets were also used.

c)  Bilingual Canada Post Office Crossed Flags Cachet : 1965 - 1966

A  new Canada Post Office first day cover envelope featuring Canada's Coat of Arms  above two crossed Canadian flags was  printed and used to publicize the the Christmas stamp issue, October 13, 1965. The crossed flags envelope was used for all 1966  Publicity FDCs.

 2. Publicity Inserts

Letters describing the stamp issue were inserted in the FDCs.  The inserts  were translated into about a dozen different languages, including Spanish which was used in the Girl Guides FDC insert addressed to Cuba : 

3. Printed Addresses

Distinctive printed addresses were  applied to publicity FDCs and can  therefore be used to distinguish publicity FDCs from replacement FDCs as well as identify Post Office publicity Rosecraft envelopes.

(I have relied on Mr. Charles Verge's article in the October 2010 Scott Stamp Monthly Article, Canada's special publicity first-day covers designed for influential people abroad for this section.)

a)  Block & Anderson Bandarette  Address Labels : 1960 - 1963

 The Block and Anderson labels were printed in purple ink with letters at the upper right of the address indicating the language for the insert.

 POL indicates that the addressee is to receive the publicity letter translated into Polish

b) Addressograph Address Machine : From 1964

In March, 1964, an addressograph machine was introduced to produce a more permanent addressing system. The labels were printed in black ink.

Wikepedia provides this description of the addressograph machine:
An addressograph machine of the 1960s was essentially a steel frame with an integrated keyboard for stamping out address plates, a cassette-style plate feeder, a heavy-duty, rapidly moving inked ribbon, a platten for hand-feeding the mail piece, and a foot pedal for stamping the address. The individual steel address plates were inserted into card-sized frames which had a series of slots along the top where colored metal flags could also be inserted for sorting purposes. The plate assemblies were placed in steel cassettes resembling library card catalogue drawers, which were manually inserted into the machine. At the press of the foot pedal the plate assemblies were swapped in sequence in a similar fashion to a slide projector, placing an impression of the raised type onto the mail piece.

 1960 -1966 Canada Post Office Publicity First Day Covers


 Girl Guides

April 20, 1960 to Havana, Cuba

Dollard des Ormeaux

May 19, 1960 to Johannesburg, South Africa


Northern Development

The envelope for the Northern Development Publicity FDC  shown above was from an earlier  "P.S. 2" printing, April 24, 1957.

E. Pauline Johnson

March 10, 1961 to Katowice, Poland

November 4, 1960 Printing

An additional 10,000 envelopes were printed.

April 19, 1961 to Belgium

The publicity mailing for the Colombo Plan stamp was the only one sent by aerogramme.

June 28, 1961 to Kuala Lumpur, Malaya

October 12, 1961 to Johannesburg, South Africa


 February 28, 1962 to Kingston, Jamaica

May 3, 1962 to Katowice, Poland

June 13, 1962 to Kingston, Jamaica

The envelope used for the Talon stamp is the first "P.S. 2-16-2-62" printing Publicity FDC .

August 31, 1962 to Katowice, Poland

 October 2, 1962 to Brussels, Belgium


1 cent and 4 cent Definitive Stamps
February 4, 1963 to Johannesburg, South Africa

Sir Casimir Gzowski

 March 5, 1963 to Lisbon, Portugal

2 cent and 4 cent Definitive Stamps

May 2, 1963 to Dortmund, Germany

$1.00 Definitive Stamp

June 14, 1963 to Kingston, Jamaica

 To Katowice, Poland
 To Johannesburg, South Africa

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

Christmas 1965

October 13, 1965 to Brussels, Belgium


 Alouette II

 January 5, 1966 to Brussels, Belgium

Floral Emblem Series : Saskatchewan and Alberta

 January 19, 1966 to Kingston, Jamaica

Floral Emblem Series : Newfoundland

 February 23, 1966 to Johannesburg, South Africa

Floral Emblem Series : Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories

 March 23, 1966 to Lisbon, Portugal

Cavelier de la Salle

 April 13, 1966 to Lisbon, Portugal

London Conference

 May 26, 1966 to Lisbon, Portugal

Highway Safety

 May 2, 1966 to Brussels, Belgium

 Floral Emblem Series : Canada

June 30, 1966 to Brussels, Blegium

 Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

 July 27, 1966 to Brussels, Belgium

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference

 September 8, 1966 to Brussels, Belgium

Christmas 1966

October 12, 1966 to Brussels, Belgium