FDC Specialist - Vol. 1 No. 6 - December 1984 / January 1985

Articles appearing in this newsletter are protected by Copyright. Anyone wanting to reprint articles must obtain written permission from: Marcel Cool. Short excerpts of articles may be reproduced for the purpose of reviewing this newsletter by philatelic columnists or Editors of philatelic publications.

This issue of the newsletter contains a full length articles which for the first time, was not written by me. In fact, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Mr. Robert Cole, maker of the famous "Cole" cachets, has agreed to share with us the colorful history of Cole Covers in a series of articles. I am also pleased to announce that Robert (Bob) Cole and his wife Louise have become the first Honorary Life Members of this newsletter because of their past achievements in the production of cachets and their continuing interest in the promotion of First Day Cover collecting in Canada.

I am very pleased with the progress being made in our attempts to discover and document the History and Evolution of First Day Covers in Canada. This of course would not have been possible without the cooperation and encouragement of so many of the original subscribers to the newsletter and to the promotion of this project by the philatelic press. I can assure you that I will continue to do my utmost to make First Day Cover collecting a respectable part of Canadian philately.

COLE COVERS

Robert (Bob) Cole

Ottawa, Ontario

8 September 1965 - 20 Oct. 1971

PART ONE

By: Robert (Bob) Cole

We were not a large organization ... there was just my wife Louise and myself. I designed the cachets and she took care of the shipping. On days (or rather the night) of a first day of issue there were a dozen friends and relatives sticking stamps on cover. Over the years we must have produced around 100 cachets and printed over half a million envelopes.

It all began with Scott No. 442, the Centenary of Ottawa as the Nation's Capital, dated 8 IX 1965. I had not been a stamp collector for very long but as an artist, I had a special interest in illustrated First Day Covers. Just for the fun and the experience, I designed and produced 300 envelopes (not the best quality paper) relief printing, one colour black, and had the printing raised (thermographed) by putting rosin in the ink, then passing the envelopes (ink still wet) under heat lamps. The subject was the parliament buildings as seen from Wellington Street. As can be seen in Fig. 1, the design was too wide and it clashed with the cancel.

A very knowledgeable and interesting gentleman by the name of Fred Harford of Ottawa, Ont. saw one of my covers and contracted me to design a series for him. All in all, I designed eleven cachets for him, six of the Provincial flowers and five commemoratives. I do not believe that more than 1000 of each were serviced. Each cachet has his logo: a mail box, a letter and his name - HARFORD - in capital letters. That was back in the days when first class postage was a nickle.

Harford cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 425

Harford cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 426

Harford cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 427

Harford Cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 428

Harford cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 429

Harford cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 446

Harford Cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 447

Harford Cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 448


Hayford Cover designed by Robert Cole for Scott # 429A

The first COLE COVER was the 50 Atomic Energy of 27 VII 1966. Printed in one colour, a dark blue, was the outline drawing of an energy plant, atomic symbol and dove of peace. Again, about 1,000 were serviced. The envelope quality was not good and after this issue, I bought only highest quality rag content envelopes from Globe Envelope Co.

There wasn't a great deal of interest in this cachet so, in the next one - the library Scott # 450 (8 IX 1966) I put more detail and printed in plum; fortunately this was very much the same colour as the stamp. This did not always happen because the Post Office was often very close-mouthed in regard to forthcoming issues. Everything was a BIG secret.

Interest in my cachets grew, again not much beyond 2,000 but the message came across loud and clear that to succeed, a colourful and well drawn cachet was required. This requirement I took into consideration when preparing the Christmas 1966 cachet that followed.
(To be continued...)

*********************

AGAPE CACHETS

125 covers designed by Sharon Schroeder were prepared for the 25th Anniversary of the Saint Lawrence Seaway for which both the United States and Canada issued a commemorative postage stamp, on June 26, 1984.

Sharon advises that this was the first cover for which she and her family traveled to the first day city to have serviced. Is it possible that we may see more of Sharon's work for future Canadian issues? Time will tell.

VEILS OF SECRECY LIFTED AT CANADA POST?

Are you ready for this? In a letter addressed to me and signed by Yr. R.W. Eyre, National Director, Retail Marketing, Canada -Post, sales figures of FDC units have been disclosed for the period beginning February 1st 1979 to October 3, 1983. It should be noted that these figures are for Official Canada Post Cacheted First Day Covers only and do not include the total of "collector's own" covers officially cancelled on day of issue. Until notified to the contrary, it is assumed that Plate Blocks on cover are included in the sales figures of single stamps.

Day of Issue M D Y Scott # Description FDC Units
02 01 79 780 14¢ Quebec Carnival 49,907
04 10 79 813 17¢ Turtle 46,179
04 10 79 814 35¢ Bowhead Whale 45,734
04 27 79 815-6 17¢ Postal Code se-tenant 55,891
05 03 79 817-8 17¢ Authors se-tenant 52,353
05 11 79 819-20 17¢ Colonels, se-tenant 63,554
06 15 79 821-32a 17¢ Flags (12 stamps) 376,603
07 03 79 833 17¢ Canoe-Kayak 48,996
08 16 79 834 17¢ Field Hockey 41,643
09 13 79 835-6 17¢ Inuit Shelter, se-tenant 45,714
09 13 79 837-8 17¢ Inuit Community, se-tenant 45,035
10 17 79 839 15¢ Christmas 27,183
10 17 79 840 17¢ Christmas 28,075
10 17 79 841 35¢ Christmas 27,168
10 24 79 842 17¢ Year of the Child 46,032
11 15 79 843-4 17¢ Flying Boats, se-tenant 49,294
11 15 79 845-6 35¢ Flying Boats, se-tenant 48,527
01 23 80 847 17¢ Arctic Islands 50,935
01 23 80 848 35¢ Winter Games 53,309
03 06 80 849-50 17¢ Canadian Art 52,084
03 06 80 851-52 35¢ Canadian Art 51,088
05 06 80 853 17¢ Whitefish 56,334
05 06 80 854 17¢ Prairie Chicken 54,112
05 29 80 855 17¢ Gardening 55,792
05 29 80 856 17¢ Rehabilitation 54,243
06 06 80 857-8 17¢ O'Canada 48,896
06 20 80 859 17¢ Diefenbaker 59,293
07 04 80 860-1 17¢ Willan/Albani 47,510
07 04 80 862 17¢ Ned Hanlan 51,801
08 27 80 863 17¢ Sask. 52,718
08 27 80 864 17¢ Alberta 62,114
09 03 80 865 35¢ Uranium 48,343
09 25 80 866-7 17¢ Inuit Spirits 46,995
09 25 80 868-9 35¢ Inuit Spirits 44,438
10 22 80 870 15¢ Christmas 29,623
10 22 80 871 17¢ Christmas 30,759
10 22 80 872 35¢ Christmas 29,069
11 10 80 873-4 17¢ Military Aircraft 50,545
11 10 80 875-6 35¢ Military Aircraft 47,407
12 05 80 877 17¢ Dr. Lachapelle 65,084
01 19 81 878 17¢ Antique Instrument 58,076
03 04 81 879-82 17¢ Feminists 90,123
Combination 27,790
04 06 81 883 17¢ Marmot 54,190
o4 06 81 884 35¢ Bison 53,842
04 24 81 885-6 17¢ Katerie/ Marie 52,582
Combination 26,587
05 22 81 887 17¢ M.A. Fortin 54,551
05 22 81 888 17¢ F.H. Varley 52,682
05 22 81 889 35¢ P. Borduas 50,972
06 30 81 890-3 17¢ Canada Day, Maps 80,910
Combination 31,698
07 22 81 894-5 17¢ Botanists 45,165
Combination 24,316
07 22 81 896 17¢ Floralies 50,676
07 31 81 897 17¢ Niagara-on-the-Lake 53,202
08 14 81 898 17¢ Acadians 50,630
09 08 81 899 17¢ Mosher 47,353
11 16 81 900 15¢ Christmas 32,068
11 16 81 901 15¢ Christmas 32,422
11 16 81 902 15¢ Christmas 31,731
11 16 81 900-2 Combination 28,768
11 24 81 903-4 17¢ Aircraft 53,596
11 24 81 905-6 35¢ Aircraft 51,364
11 24 81 903-6 Combination 36,826
03 11 82 909 30¢ Beaver 41,388
03 11 82 911 35¢ R.C.M.P. 38,948
03 11 82 909&911 Combination 29,095
04 02 82 914 30¢ Jules Leger 46,800
04 13 82 915 30¢ Terry Fox 66,968
04 16 82 916 30¢ Constitution 68,442
05 20 82 913a 1.90 Canada '82 S/S 41,046
05 20 82 910 30¢ Champlain 32,059
05 20 82 912 35¢ Mt. Hurd 30,288
05 20 82 913 60¢ Bluenose 31,892
05 20 82 910-12-13 Combination 26,228
06 25 82 954 30¢ Salvation Army 53,804
06 30 82 955-66 Canada Day 207,029
08 03 82 967 30¢ Regina 49,259
08 04 82 968 30¢ Henley Regatta 51,721
10 05 82 969-70 30¢ Aircraft 43,173
10 05 82 971-2 60¢ Aircraft 41,071
10 05 82 969-72 Combination 26,975
11 03 82 973 30¢ Christmas 25,465
11 03 82 974 35¢ Christmas 25,424
11 03 82 975 60¢ Christmas 25,315
11 03 82 973-5 Combination 26,662
03 10 83 976 32¢ World Communications 49,081
03 14 83 977 $2. Commonwealth Day 38,526
04 22 83 978-9 32¢ Pratt/Conan 37,426
04 22 83 980 Combination 22,089
06 03 83 981 32¢ St. John Ambulance 49,261
06 28 83 982 32¢ World University Games 23,638
06 28 83 981-2 64¢ World University Games 22,220
06 28 83 992a Combination 19,755
06 30 83 993 $3.20 Forts Booklet 48,363
07 06 83 994 32¢ Scouting 52,474
07 22 83 995 32¢ World Council of Churches 40,259
08 03 83 996 32¢ Sir Humphrey Gilbert 55,041
08 12 83 997 32¢ Nickel Discovery 53,343
09 16 83 998 32¢ Henson 43,091
09 16 83 999-1000 32¢ Labelle 54,747
10 03 83 1001 32¢ Trains 49,430
10 03 83 1002 37¢ Train 22,700
10 03 83 999-1002 64¢ Train 22,380
10 03 83 Combination 27,848

NOTES FROM THE PAST

Beginning in 1969, Mr. Alfred W. Nowlan of Glasgow Nova Scotia began to issue a newsletter entitled "HOW THINGS LOOK FROM HERE". Alfred and his wife Frances serviced Canadian First Day covers for many years until the sudden death of Norman Rosenbloom on May 27th, 1984.

With Mr. Nowlan's permission, I am reprinting in part, an article which appeared in newsletter #1.

DO YOU HAVE THE 6¢ DEFINITIVE ON COVER ?

In November of 1968 a situation arose whereby the Canadian Post Office saw fit to spring a surprise issue of a new 6¢ definitive. Nobody could be sure what way the situation would turn so there were no cachets ready when about noon on October 31st word spread in Ottawa that a new 6¢ definitive would go on sale at Post Offices across Canada at 9 A.M. on November 1st. Due to such short notice it was decided by the postal authorities that in fairness to collectors across Canada who couldn't possibly get their covers to Ottawa on time for first day cancellation that there would be no Day of Issue cancellation of this issue.

The makers of Rosecraft, who generally produce 60,000 cachets for each new issue, thought what a disappointment this would be for their friends and customers. They immediately went to work and
designed a cachet which they had on the press by early evening. Due to lack of time, only 5,000 cachets could be printed. These were rushed to our service men who had gone to Ottawa to take care of New Issue Service on the 5¢ Christmas Issue to be released on November 1st. The rest is history, by combining the 6¢ definitive with the 5¢ Christmas issue, officially issued on the same day, we were able to persuade the authorities at the Ottawa Post Office to put them through the Day of Issue canceller and so created a scarce Canadian First Day Cover. Mr. George Rogers writing in the "Canadian Plate Block Journal" estimated that the number of covers serviced in this manner by the Post Office at Ottawa, who were busy with the 5¢ Christmas issue could not have exceeded 1,000. In view of our participation in this issue, we feel that a more likely figure would be around 5,000.

5,000 of the above cachet were produced by Rosecraft on the day prior to the date of issue of Scott # 459. Many of these were serviced in Ottawa by Norman Rosenbloom who later produced the "NR" cachets.

A number of Rosecraft cachets which had been designed for use with the 5¢ Christmas issue, Scott # 488, were also used in order to receive the Official cancel on day of issue for the 6¢ definitive stamp.