Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Interesting 1868 Cover
Stockton California to Port Colborne Ontario

The above cover was mailed from Stockton, California to Port Colborne, Ontario. The letter was prepaid at the 6 cents per one-half ounce rate to Canada. The stamps were cancelled on June 30, 1868. The cover was 16 days in transit before its receipt at the Port Colborne post office. The cover was subsequently redirected to Welland via the Welland Railway.

Overland Stage Coach from California

The cover would have gone overland on the daily mail stage coach from Placerville, California, to Atchison, Kansas a distance of 1913 miles.

Rail Kansas to Canada

From Atchison the letter would probably have been transported by train to Chicago then to Canada.
Unfortunately there are no U.S. transit markings.

Ontario transit

Several Ontario postmarks were applied to the cover.

Paris Station

The first Canadian cancel was applied at Paris, Ontario, west of Port Colborne, on July 15, 1868:

Port Colborne

The letter arrived at Port Colborne on July 16, 1868:

Redirection to Welland

On July 20, the letter was redirected to Welland:

Port Colborne, July 20, 1868

Welland Railway

The Welland Railway ran from Port Colborne on Lake Erie to Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario (Down):

Welland Rail Road transit

Welland Railway DOWN
July 20, 1868


A partial Welland receiver was applied.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Canadian Map Stamp of 1898

Imperial Penny Postage

At a conference on postage rates held in London, England, in 1898, William Mulock, Postmaster General of Canada, proposed an Imperial one penny letter rate. Mulock's scheme was initially adopted for Great Britain, Canada, Newfoundland, Cape Colony, and Natal.

The Imperial Penny Postage came into effect on December 25, 1898. To mark the event, the Canada Post Office issued a 2 cent (equivalent to British 1d.) commemorative stamp whose release date was scheduled for December 25 but because of public pressure was released on December 7, 1898. On December 25, 1898, the one-half ounce letter rate from Canada to certain parts of the empire was reduced from 5 cents to 2 cents.


National Archives of Canada

National Archives of Canada

National Archives of Canada

National Archives of Canada

National Archives of Canada

Issued Stamps

The Imperial Penny Stamp was an outstanding three-colour product featuring a map of the world with the British empire in red. Twenty million stamps were ordered, half with the ocean in blue and half with the ocean in green. Several shades exist including lavender.

Centenial Commemoration

Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp on May 29, 1998, to mark the 100th anniversary of the introduction of Imperial Penny Post, featuring the 1898 Map stamp:

Canada Post described the stamp issue as follows in its press release:
It was a momentous time in postal history; one hundred years ago, imperial penny postage was introduced, allowing Canadians to send letters anywhere in the British Empire at the rate of one British penny - just two cents Canadian! It was a huge triumph for Canada, Postmaster General Sir William Mulock played a pivotal role in negotiating this change from the previous levy of five Canadian cents. The penny-postage stamp is one of the most revered by collectors. It was the world's first Christmas issue. The stamp featured a collage of Queen Victoria's crown, a map of the world with the British Empire displayed in red, "Xmas 1898" and the phrase, "We hold a vaster empire than has been". Produced in three colours and by two different processes by the American Bank Note Company of Ottawa, it was the most expensive issue in Canadian philatelic history to that date. Recognizing the significance of the stamp for collectors, Canada Post will issue a single domestic-rate stamp. Queen Victoria's crown, a portrait of Postmaster General Sir William Mulock, and a reproduction of the original stamp are together depicted against a dark backdrop with "Canada" boldly displayed.

William Mulock

William Mulock was the Member of Parliament (Liberal) for the riding of York North, Ontario, from 1882 to 1905. Mulock was Postmaster General from 1896 to 1905.

William Mulock Correspondence

Ottawa to Hamilton, April 15, 1905
Senate handstamp and Ottawa "free" cancel

Initials "W.M."

Map Stamp Usages

To Great Britain

 Ancaster to London, April 17, 1899
2 cents "Imperial Penny Postage" rate

Although the stamp was intended to prepay the Imperial letter rate, the stamp could be used to prepay any other rate or fee. The examples below show the Map Stamp used to pay the UPU post card rate.

To Hungary

Toronto Spadina Avenue to Budapest, January 3, 1899
Budapest receiver January 16, 1899

"Greetings from Toronto"

To Belgium

Montreal to Brussels, November 6, 1899
Brussels arrival November 18, 1899

Bureau Central du Sacre-Coeur correspondence

Friday, September 16, 2011

Canada Post Pictorial Cancels Oil and Gas

On May 2, 2008, Canada Post issued a pair of commemorative stamps to celebrate two events in the Canadian the oil-and-gas industry : the country's first commercial oil well and first transcontinental pipeline.

First Day Covers

Pictorial Cancels

1. Gas-Related

Medicine Hat

One of the largest natural gas fields in North America is found in Medicine Hat. The fields were discovered accidentally in the early 1900's during Canadian Pacific Railway's search for water. their drills accidentally struck gas. In 1903, Medicine Hat City Council introduced a program to supply all residents with gas; the beginning of a City-owned utility. Today, Medicine Hat is one of only a few cities that produces and distributes its own natural gas and electricity.

Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan

The Trans-Canada gas pipeline crosses the Great Sand Hills.

2. Oil-Related

On February 13, 1947, an Imperial Oil rig struck oil at Leduc, Alberta, south of Edmonton. The success, made after 133 failures, transformed Alberta's economy, leading to the discovery of huge oil and gas reservoirs. The pictorial cancels from several Alberta communities illustrate the significance of the oil industry in that province.

a) Oil Rigs

Leduc, Alberta

Leduc #1

Nisku, Alberta

Nisku is a hamlet and an industrial/business park in mid-way between Edmonton and Leduc. The Nisku Industrial Park, established in the 1970s, is Canada's largest and North America's second largest energy park.

Nisku Industrial Park

b) Pump Jacks

Pump jacks pump oil out of the ground and transfer it to storage tanks through pipelines.

Kirriemuir, Alberta

Scandia, Alberta

Altario, Alberta

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Canada Post Pictorial Cancels
Alberta National Parks

Pictorial cancels from post offices nearest to each of Alberta's five National Parks are shown in this post.

Banff National Park

In 1883, Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered hot springs on the eastern slopes of the Alberta Rockies. Prime Minister John A. Macdonald set aside a small reserve of 26 square kilometres around the hot springs as a public park known as the Banff Hot Springs Reserve in 1885. The park was expanded in 1887 and named Rocky Mountains Park, becoming Canada's first national park. In 1930, the park was renamed as Banff National Park.

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park is located 35 km east of Edmonton. The park is representative of the northern prairies plateau ecosystem, and is home to the densest population of hoofed mammals in Canada.

In 1906 the federal government created a wildlife sanctuary near Fort Saskatchewan called "Elk Park". With elk, mule deer, and moose enclosed within its fenced boundaries, Elk Park became the first federally controlled area in Canada to be enclosed as a big game sanctuary. In 1913, the sanctuary, now called Elk Island Park, was designated as a Dominion Park.

Sherwood Park is the nearest post office to the park having a pictorial cancel.

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park was established in 1907 on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The park is the largest "Dark Sky Preserve" on the planet.

Canada Post issued an attractive commemorative stamp on July 20, 2007, marking the centennial year of Jasper National Park.

Centennial Year Pictorial Cancel

The Jasper centennial logo was
featured on the pictorial cancel.

Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwest corner of Alberta and borders Glacier National Park in Montana. In 1895 the area was protected by the federal government as a Dominion Forest Park. Waterton Lakes National Park ecosystem is one of the narrowest places in the Rocky Mountain chain sitting on a key pinch point of the north-south Rocky Mountain wildlife corridor. In 1932, the United States and Canada joined together to create the world’s first International Peace Park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (WGIPP).

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park , located in northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories, is the Canada's largest national park and one of the largest in the world. It was established in 1922 to protect the last remaining herds of bison in northern Canada. Today, it protects an outstanding and representative example of Canada's Northern Boreal Plains.

Wood Bison National
Park location

Fort Chipewan is adjacent to Wood Bison National Park.