Monday, November 22, 2010

Centennial Definitive Issue :
Precancelled Stamps

Canadian precancelled stamps date back to the late 1880s for use where extensive mailings were made. Persons or businesses wishing to use precancelled stamps were required to obtain authorization by the post office. Precancelled stamps were NOT to be used on first class letters.

The Centennial precancelled stamps were produced by both printers of the Centennial definitives, Canada Bank Note Company (CBN) and the British American Bank Note Company (BABN).

A. CBN Precancels

The CBN precancelled sheet and coil stamps.

1. Sheet Stamps

The sheet stamps were precancelled by typography after the stamps were printed but prior to perforation. The precancellation consisted of three pairs of horizontal bars.

3 cent precancelled sheet stamp

A warning message appeared on left or right sheet pane margins

Warning message

The sheet stamps were printed untagged and precancelled. However the 3 cent and 6 cent sheet stamps were also printed General (Ottawa) tagged and precancelled.

Ottawa tagged

a) 1 cent Sheet Stamp

i) The 1 cent stamp with dextrine gum was issued in precancelled form in April, 1967.

Dextrine gum

Toronto to Cookshire, December 7, 1968
5 cents printed matter rate
3 cent stationery uprated with 1 cent precancels

ii) PVA gum

PVA gum is almost invisible

In August 1972, the 1 cent stamp with Polyvinyl Alcohol gum (PVA) was issued in precancelled form.

b) 2 cent sheet stamp

The 2 cent stamp in precancelled form was issued in April, 1967

On Piece

The 2 cent precancel is a challenge to find on cover. The piece below comes from a G & K mailing.

G&K Canada

c) 3 cent Sheet Stamp

i) Dextrine gum

The dextrine gum precancel was issued on February 8, 1967. The 3 cent denomination paid the first weight step third class mail rate until October 31, 1968.

Abbott " Dear Doctor" mailing

Don Mills to Toronto, October 16, 1967
3 cents Third Class rate

Unauthorized Usage

Precancels could not be used for letter mail. The cover below shows the consequences of unauthorized precancel use:

Woodstock to Ottawa, July 1967
5 cents forward letter rate

Precancelled stamps not permitted to pay the letter rate. The stamps were invalid ( ink box around the stamps) and the cover was treated as an unpaid letter. The mailer was advised of the use of precancelled stamps:

Postage due was 10 cents, double the deficiency
Meter label paying the amount due
Ottawa, July 13, 1967

ii) PVA gum

The PVA precancelled 3 cent stamp was also "Ottawa" tagged.

Halifax to Peoria Heights, Ill., August 20, 1973
6 cents printed matter rate to the United States
3 cents precancelled tagged stamps

d) 4 cent Sheet Stamp

The 4 cent dextrine gum stamp was issued in precancelled form on February 8, 1967.

Bulk Rate : To October 31, 1968

The 7 cent Time-Life bulk mail item above is undated but was likely sent before October 31, 1968 since the facsimile Stockholm cancellation is dated April 8, 1968.

7 cents was the fourth step special printed matter rate, i.e., greater than 6 oz. and equal to or less than 8 ounces.

Rate analysis:
1st two ounces...................................................2 1/2 cents
Next three weight steps (@ 1 1/2 cents per step) .....4 1/2
Total...................................................................7 cents

Bulk Rate (Quantity Mailing Rate) : November 1, 1968 - June 30, 1971

The "Quantity" printed matter rate was 4 cents (Standard 5 cents) for the first two ounces and 3 cents for each additional two ounces, and applicable if the following conditions were met:
  • 10,000 pieces or more
  • addressed to specific addresses in Canada
  • sorted into areas of delivery as required by the postmaster at the point of mailing

"Bulk" mailing
4 cents quantity rate for the first two ounces

Franked with 4c precancelled sheet stamp

e) 5 Cent Sheet Stamp

i) Dextrine gum (Issued March, 1967)

The 5 cent printed matter rate came into effect on November 1, 1968.

Saskatoon to Tessier, June 13, 1970
Shell Canada mailing

Fortune magazine to Toronto

Time magazine to Toronto

Muskoka Cavalcade of Colour mailing

The Navigators of Ontario mailing

ii) Dextrine Gum - Bright White Paper

The bright white paper was highly fluorescent.

Kitchener, March 4, 1971
Bright white paper

iii) PVA gum (issued March, 1972)

f) 6 cent black Sheet Stamp

The CBN 6 cent black was issued with PVA gum. The precancelled stamp was issued untagged and tagged in February 1972 and December 1972 respectively.

i) Untagged

The printed matter rate increased from 5 cents to 6 cents on July 1, 1971.

Consumers' Association of Canada newsletter, February 1973

Curch Envelope Company, Toronto to Willowdale
6 cents printed matter rate

ii) Tagged

6 cents precancelled tagged stamp

Todd Furniture
6 cents precancelled tagged stamp

3. Coils

The coil stamp were precancelled by ink rollers. The coil rolls were fed in a continuous stream through the rollers.

a) 3 cent Coil

Issued April, 1967

The Atlantic
3 cents printed matter rate

b) 5 cent Coil

Issued November, 1968

Printed Matter

The printed matter rate increased from 3 cents to 5 cents on November 1, 1968.

Edmonton Stamp Club mailing, September 8, 1969
5 cents printed matter rate

Winnipeg Executive Association mailing,
5 cents printed matter rate

Quantity Rate (Bulk Mail Rate) : From July 1, 1971

The bulk mail rates were amended on July 1, 1971. For more details see my earlier posting on bulk mail rates. A common bulk mail rate was 5 cents per item ( standard printed matter was 6 cents).

Bulk Mail
5 cent rate-mailed after June 50, 1971

B. BABN Precancels

BABN precancels were limited to the 6 cent denomination sheet stamps.

1. 6 cents orange Sheet Stamp

The 6 cent orange perf. 10 precancelled stamps were issued in June 1969. At that time, the printed matter rate was 5 cents, and only increased to 6 cents on July 1, 1971.

In-period, authorized commercial usages of the 6 cents orange pre-cancelled stamp are scarce items. The cover below is an unauthorized usage:

Hespeller to Toronto. May 9, 1972
Improper use of precancelled stamp on letter mail

2. 6 cents Black Sheet Stamp

BABN issued the 6 cent precancelled stamp in August 1971. The printed matter rate had been increased to 6 cents on July 1, 1971.

6 cents printed matter rate

Unauthorized use on letter mail
Edmonton to Don Mills, August 4, 1972