Barrie philatelist researching retailers’ letters from Santa

This 1918 cover, franked with a 1911 one-cent King George V stamp (Scott #104), includes another ‘letter from Santa Claus.’

Barrie philatelist Dave Hanes is researching Canadian letters from Santa Claus for a forthcoming book slated to be published by the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS). Hanes is compiling a listing of letters from Santa sent via iconic Canadian retailers T. Eaton Company (commonly known as Eaton’s) and the Robert Simpson Company (known as Simpsons since 1972). “It’s history that a lot of people have seen, but they’ve never taken any great interest in it,” said Hanes, who has been a member of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) for about a decade. “I’m getting older now, and I’d like to see this stuff recorded for posterity.” Eaton’s Toyland, which was the retailer’s fifth-floor Christmastime toy section, began writing letters from Santa as early as 1909. The earliest known letter – “so far,” added Hanes with cautious optimism – was written on Eaton’s letterhead. Continue reading →

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