OTD: Canada issues third airmail stamp—an overprinted surcharge of its first airmail stamp

On today’s date in 1932, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a six-cent airmail stamp (Scott #C3).

Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Co., this stamp had a one-cent surcharge overprinted on top of a five-cent airmail stamp (SC #C1), which was issued on Sept. 21, 1928.  The stamp depicts two victories pointing to a map of Canada on the globe beneath them while a monoplane flies above. Another five-cent airmail stamp (SC #C2) was issued on Dec. 4, 1930.

According to promotional material issued by the post office in 1932, a change in the rate of airmail postage required the use of a six-cent airmail stamp.

“The Post Office Department had on hand the remainder of the 5-cent airmail stamps of the 1928 issue, and the advisability of overprinting at least a portion of these was taken into consideration,” reads the release. “No assurance existed that the new airmail rate would remain in effect for any great length of time, and the use of 5-cent stamps appeared possible at a later date. The 1928 stamps had not been used so rapidly as had been expected, since a new regulation permitted the public to use ordinary postage stamps on airmail.”

“The Post Office Department supplied the British American Bank Note Company with the necessary number of panes of 100 subjects, as manufactured by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, Ottawa. The surcharge, fully legible, did not obscure the postage stamp design, although it obliterated the original denomination numerals. An allegory of flight, from a drawing by a staff artist of the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited. Two winged figures, symbolic of flight, are poised against a globe representing the northern half of the western hemisphere, on which is indicated in shaded outline a map of Canada. The subject is classical and has been treated with a geographical background.”

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