FDC Specialist - Vol. 1 No. 7 - February 1985

Articles appearing in this newsletter are protected by Copyright. Anyone wanting to reprint articles must obtain 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.


Although George Eppstadt of Maxville, Ontario was the first Canadian to prepare cacheted FDCs, he was not alone in servicing FDCs for the June 29th issues. Emily King of Halifax, Nova Scotia also had a number of covers serviced at the Halifax Post Office and bearing the Diamond Jubilee Flag cancel.

According to Hugh Bignell of Tantallon, N.S., she is thought to have been the wife of the Postmaster at the time. I am grateful to Mr. Bignell and Joe Vogel of Indianapolis, Ind. for having supplied copies of these covers from their collections.


Robert (Bob) Cole

Ottawa, Ontario

8 September 1965 - 20 Oct. 1971


By: Robert (Bob) Cole

Canada's Centennial in 1967 had great import for collectors of Canadian First Day of Issue cacheted covers. It was Canada's 100th birthday. Prior to 1867, there was but a handful of scattered British colonies on the Atlantic coast, along the St-Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. In 1867 four of these, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec banded together in a Confederation of the Dominion of Canada.

My wife Louise and I, (she did most of the office work and I designed and produced the cacheted envelopes), were proud to take an active part on this historic occasion. Canada's Centennial was a catalyst in developing and maturing our national personality and pride. There were fantastic programmes going on in every province. Philatelically, where in 1966 there were eight postage stamps issued, in 1967 Canada issued twenty-two ! Many of the COLE COVERS produced that year contributed to documenting these events alone, and in co-operation with the Post Office.

The first stamp issued in 1967 was the Centennial stamp, Scott #453, issued 11 Jan. 1967. The cachet I designed was in two colours, light blue and red. It combined the Centennial symbol and title; colour complimented the stamp with Canada outlined on world and included an ethnic variety of Canadians. The First Day of Issue cancellation also incorporated the centennial symbol for this
and most stamps issued in 1967.

COLE cachet for Canada's Centennial stamp Scott #1153

The next issue on 8 Feb. 1967 was hectic. Twelve stamps with a total face value of $2.43. When you consider that in 1967 the first class postage rate was 5¢ (the equivalent of 32¢ today) and processing approximately 5,000 covers was a considerable outlay so early in the game. The total number of cachets printed was about 40,000, three designs. The majority of these were serviced by individuals and dealers themselves. We serviced covers as well as selling the finished product. Every issue varied. No one had time to keep track of numbers. All our energy was spent meeting Post Office service deadlines.

For the regular issues I designed two cachets both with Queen Elizabeth II portraits. The background colours were varied, not an expensive proposition when printing letterpress (relief). In the one where there is an island in the foreground only the overlay is thermographed (raised printing). In the one with the lighthouse in the foreground both colours were thermographed, but notice that I had to leave an open space around her head. The reason was two thermographed colours could not be allowed to touch.

COLE cachets designed for use with low value definitive stamps of 1967.

Thermography or raised printing was and still is (business cards) a way of making the cachet look and feel like an expensive engraving. To get this raised effect the printer mixed some rosin in the ink and the printed envelopes were then passed under heat lamps, the heat caused the treated
ink to blister. It cost about a penny more per envelope but often it was worth it.

I was not very happy with either of these designs. I was more pleased with the single cachet I designed for the 8¢, 10¢, 15¢, 20¢, 25¢, 50¢ and $1.00 Canadian Art 1967 definitives. I combined the work of two artists and listed the seven painters.The design could not take up too much space because a number of dealers and collectors wanted plate blocks on cover.

The Post Office would not service covers with only a 1¢ or 2¢ regular definitive. The minimum was three 1¢, for the 2¢ a pair. This was no real hardship. The hardship was putting on and taking off thousands of peelable self address labels. It was at this time the P.O. allowed us to just pencil
in our P.C. Box (having a P.O. Box in Ottawa Main P.O. was a must) when boxed in quantities of 500. The Post Office was quite rightly concerned about possible mix-ups. The P.O. workers were very careful and very considerate.

The next major philatelic involvement in Canada's Centennial was Expo 67 and the Queen's visit to Canada. COLE covers was very much involved....
(To be continued.)


COLE cachet designed for use with high value definitive stamps of 1967



Interesting Statistics

In the July 13th, 1970 issue of Linn's Stamp News there is an article in which Mr. Fernand G. Malo, Post Office head for Quebec in addressing the American Topical Association in Montreal spoke of the enormous growth of Philately in Canada to more than 300,000 collectors.

In the December 22, 1984 edition of the Montreal GAZETTE, Mr. Larry McInnis, internationally known stamp columnist, wrote as follows: " Canada Post Corporation estimates they are nearly 800,000 stamp collectors in Canada".

In 1970, the population of Canada was estimated at 21 million; in 1984, it was estimated at 23 million. By doing a few quick calculations, in 1970, 14 people out of every thousand Canadians collected stamps while in 1984, 34 people out of every thousand collect stamps; an increase of almost 2 1/2 times in 14 years. Needless to say, philately is definitely not losing grounds in Canada.


Recently, while reading through some older issues of "Maple Leaves", the Journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain, I came across an article written by Dr. Edward Mercantini on Canada's Tagged Stamps. This was an extremely interesting article and one part of it was of particular importance to our field of study. It reads as follows:

"There is no definite record to indicate the exact date on which the 1962 design tagged stamps were actually first used, but presumably it was soon after the following dates which indicate when the first shipments of these were forwarded to the Postage Stamp Depot in Winnipeg from the manufacturers:

31st January, 1963 31st January, 1963
30th April, 1963 10th December, 1962
30th April, 1963

The above is quoted directly from the article which appeared in the June 1964 issue of Maple Leaves on page 108.

Not having personally seen these stamps (401p to 405p) on First Day Cover, I began to doubt their existence. I began my research by referring to the Standard Canadian catalogues. Lyman gives the date of issue for # 401p to 403P as May 15, 1963, # 404p as Feb. 1963 and 405p as Jan. 1963. The Scott Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps and Covers did not give specific issue dates. The dates in the Gandley Cover Catalogue correspond exactly with Lyman. All of these catalogues offered pricing information for these stamps on FDC. The question still remained in my mind "How can FDC's exist if the date of issue is disputed?

I then decided to write to Ken Rose, the undisputed expert on Canadian tagged stamps, in order to get his opinion on this issue. While waiting for his reply (which was very prompt), I found the answer I was looking for in "The Guidebook and Catalogue of Canadian Stamps" by Glen Hansen. (One of the best, if not THE best catalogue on Canadian Stamps ever compiled).

The notations for this issue in Mr. Hansen's catalogue read as follows: "There is no effort to alert collectors on the addition of new tagged values or any other change. It was only the process of finding out on their own that collectors became aware that new issues, tagged, were released in Winnipeg at the same time as the ordinary stamps appeared in the rest of Canada.

The Cameo Set, released in 1962-1963, is thus rare on first day covers in tagged versions. Only those collectors who happened to catch the tagging as it was released on the various first days and then prepared their own covers and those who accidentally made up their own Winnipeg first day covers have these rather rare cover varieties. Interest in Tagged stamps, even in Winnipeg, was not too great at that time and most first day covers I have seen of the Cameo Set were admitedly accidental in nature."

Mr. Ken Rose in his reply to my inquiry was also of the opinion that the release dates of the tagged stamps was the same as the ordinary stamps which are as follows:

401p & 404p Feb 4, 1963
402p & 403P May 2, 1963
405P Oct 3, 1962

Mr. Rose has 401p to 404P on First Day Cover in his collection. So, to reset the record straight as Mr. Glenn Hansen had in his 1971 catalogue, First Day Covers do exist for these tagged stamps and the dates of issue are the same as the ordinary stamps. Does anyone have a set to spare? After all, they are only catalogued at 50¢ to $3.50 each ?????


Speaking of the Cameo issue, Rosecraft prepared a combination cover bearing a set of the 5 stamps and dated May 2, 1963, the day of issue for the last two stamps released for this issue. Does anyone out there have one? I would need a photocopy to include in my study of this issue.



In the past, several firms and organizations utilized FDCs to mail advertizing matter to their customers or a message related to the actual stamp issue. The collecting and study of these are an interesting sideline to FDC collecting. For this issue, I have chosen a Rosecraft cachet used for the World Health Day Issue (Scott # 560) of April 7, 1972. This cover, which is illustrated below, was addressed to the CKRC Radio Station in Winnipeg, Manitoba by the Manitoba Heart Foundation. Note the logo of the Canadian Heart Foundation on the letter which also is illustrated on the cachet.

Readers may be interested in sharing some of their favorite stuffers with us for future issues of the newsletter: