FDC Specialist - Vol. 1 No. 8 - March 1965

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While reviewing the many interesting displays at the CANADA '84 show held in Montreal last October, I noticed the unusual cover illustrated below which was part of an excellent display on the Canadian Beaver. This display, which won a silver ribbon, was prepared by one of our enterprising youths from Stoney Creek, Ont., Miss Karen Ward. The Ottawa Postal Museum cancel depicting a beaver made this a most appropriate cover for part of her display. Does anyone know who made these covers?



This stamp was designed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited. It depicts an allegory of flight featuring two winged figures holding hands over a globe representing the northern half of the western hemisphere on which Canada is outlined. Also depicted is a Fairchild Cabin monoplane. You will note that the winged figures share but one pair of wings which is not recommended for either one to attempt a solo flight. A quantity of 5,050M of these were issued on September 21, 1925. Since George Eppstadt had lost a fair sum of money by producing his cachets, no Canadian would venture in this still embryonic hobby of FDC collecting. An enterprising and imaginative cachet maker in the U.S.A. by the name of A.C. Roessler was to be the first American to produce a cacheted cover for a Canadian stamp issue. Albert C. Roessler was born on April 7, 1883, in Newark, N.J., and died Jan.25, 1952. He was the first American to offer serviced cacheted First Day Covers on a commercial scale beginning with the "Huguenot-Walloon" issue of May 1, 1924 (Scott # 614-616). Advance notice of stamp issues were given in one of his many publications: the "Daily Postal Bulletin and Stamp News. He was also keenly interested in First Flights and prepared special cacheted envelopes for these, including the first official US airmail flight of 1918. Among some of his rarer cachets are those he produced for some of the Canadian issues. Very few First Day covers are known for this stamp issue, and I would like to thank two of our prominent collectors, Maurice Malenfant and Joe Vogel for sharing with us covers from their collections. Two cities are represented: Montreal and Toronto. Does anyone have FDCs for this issue from other cities? References: Canada's postage stamps, Douglas and Mary Fatrick, Rev, Ed, Toronto McClelland and Stewart, 1968.

A man of mystery, Robyn Hayes, Stamp Collector, Oct. 15, 1984. Albert C. Roessler - Canada Cachets, Steve Ritzer, First Days, Sept.- Oct. 1969.

First American cachet used for a Canadian stamp issue, produced by and addressed to: A.C. Roessler, East Orange, N.J. The Illustration is a picture of Charles A. Lindbergh.


Toronto, Ont. Postal Term A cancel on day of issue.


This was Canada's first regular issue of stamps with bilingual inscriptions. The lower values bore a portrait of King George V in uniform, taken from a photograph by Lafayette of London. The higher values depicted scenes from the various Canadian regions. Dates of issue vary with different authorities as do the estimated quantities of stamps issued. The stamps were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company. Canada changed printers in 1929 and, because of this, the issue had a relatively short life. Due to the lack of interest in FDC collecting in Canada at the time, no known cacheted covers have been found for this issue. First Day Covers for this issue are scarce and we are indebted to T.R. Legault, who was the Accountant in Charge, Postage Stamp Division of the Canadian Post Office Department in Ottawa. Mr. Legault was a stamp collector and an early Canadian FDC collector. Because of his position, he was one of the few to know the exact dates of issue of Canadian stamps and postal stationary. He used this information to his advantage and prepared FDCs of these items for himself and his friend and fellow collector in Montreal, A.F. Brophy. Mr. Legault continued his collection until his death in 1939. Two of our subscribers are priviledged to own several of these covers and I would like to thank both Maurice Malenfant and Tom Collop for providing copies of these items. The following is a listing of the stamps issued in this series and the various dates of issue shown in various catalogues:

Scott # 149 1 cent orange Oct 25, 1928 and Oct 29, 1928
# 150 2 cents green Oct 16, 1928 and Oct 17, 1928
# 151 3 cents carmine Dec 12, 1928
# 152 4 cents bistro Aug 16, 1928 and Aug 16, 1929
# 153 5 cents violet Dec 12, 1928 and Dec 28, 1928
# 151 8 cents blue Dec 21, 1928
# 155 10 cents green Dec 5, 1928 and Oct 5, 1928
# 156 12 cents grey Jan 6, 1929 and Jan 8, 1929
# 157 20 cents carmine Jan 6, 1929 and Jan 8, 1929
# 158 50 cents blue Jan 6, 1929 and Jan 8, 1929
# 159 Dollar green Jan 6, 1929 and Jan 8, 1929

Mr. Legault was in a privileged position to know the dates of Issue at Ottawa and since he did prepare First Day Covers for this issue, it is only reasonable to assume that these were in fact the dates of issue in Ottawa. As other post Offices across Canada no doubt received their supplies of these stamps a few days prior to the Official issue date, it is possible if not probable that one or more of these offices began using these before Ottawa. This is without doubt the case for # 153, the first stamp issued for this series. The Legault cover shows an Ottawa cancel of Oct 17, 1928 whereas the Rev. McCall cover shows an Edmonton cancel of Oct 16, 1928.

Legault cover showing Official Ottawa date of issue as Oct 17.

Rev. McCall cover cancelled in Edmonton, Alta. Oct 16, 1928.


First Day of use in Toronto, Ont. corresponds with Ottawa Official date. Evidence points to the Official date of issue as being OCT 17, 1928. Until such time as official records can prove to the contrary, this date should be adopted by catalogue editors as the Official date of issue. The seconds stamp to be issued in this series was the 1¢ orange, Scott # 149. Two Legault covers are illustrated, one. addressed to himself and the other to A.F. Brophy in Montreal. These covers indicate that the first day of issue was Oct 29, 1929.


The next two stamps issued were the 3¢ carmine and the 5¢ violet. These
were issued Dec 12, 1926 in Ottawa. At least most catalogues are in agree-
ment with this date.

Note how a dealer, obviously unaware of the importance of this Brophy cover, casually placed a price sticker over "First Day Cover".

The last stamp in this series to be issued in 1928 was the 8¢ blue, as shown above on a FDC cancelled in Ottawa on Dec 21, 1926. This too is in agreement with all catalogues. Mr. Legault's FDCs being in agreement in several instances with the dates shown in catalogues, there seems little reason to doubt the validity of the dates shown on his covers as being the true Official date of issue.

Although I do not have a reference cover for the 10¢ stamp, I believe it reasonable to assume that this would not have been the first stamp issued in the series and would therefore discard the possibility of Oct 5, 1925 as being the Official date of issue. I would definitely be more inclined to accept Dec 5, 1928 as being the Official date of issue. This is the first pictorial stamp of the series and is taken from a water color by Frederick Marlett Bell-Smith, entitled "The Ice-Crowned Monarch of the Rockies". The side panels show Totem Poles, emblematic of Canada's west coast Indians.
All the other high values in this series were issued on the same date which, according to the Legault covers was Jan 8, 1929.

The 12¢ stamp depicts the Quebec Cantilever Bridge. Construction of the bridge began in 1900. On Aug 29, 1907, one of the cantilever spans collapsed killing 75 workers. On Sep 11, 1916, as the center span was being hoisted into position, it suddenly fell into the river claiming another 13 lives. The bridge was completed in 1917. With a main span of 1800 feet, it is the longest cantilever bridge in the world.

The 20¢ stamp shows the Heaping of wheat in Western Canada. The horse-drawn equipment was typical of farming in the 1920s and 1930s. A train, as well as mountains, can be seen in the background.
The 50¢ stamp is one of Canada's most famous postage stamps and depicts the Bluenose the famous fishing schooner, racing off the coast of Nova Scotia. This is a composite picture taken from a photograph of W.R. MacAskill taken in 1922.
The $1 stamp shows the same view of the Parliament Buildings as that used for the 3¢ Confederation stamp issued in 1927 (Scott # 143).

The last stamp in this series, the 4¢ bistre was issued on Aug 16, 1929 as shown by the Legault cover illustrated above.
It is hoped that the evidence presented in this article will convince Canadian catalogue publishers to adopt what I feel convinced are the true Official dates of issue and therefore end the discrepency in issue dates shown in various catalogues. To summarize, the following dates are the Official Ottawa issue dates for this series of stamps:

Scott # 149 1 cent orange Oct 29, 1928
# 150 2 cents green Oct 17, 1928
# 151 3 cents carmine Dec 12, 1928
# 152 4 cents bistro Aug 16, 1929
# 153 5 cents violet Dec 12, 1928
# 151 8 cents blue Dec 21, 1928
# 155 10 cents green Dec 5, 1928
# 156 12 cents grey Jan 8, 1929
# 157 20 cents carmine Jan 8, 1929
# 158 50 cents blue Jan 8, 1929
# 159 Dollar green Jan 8, 1929