OTD: Post Office Department issues Canada’s first 25-cent stamp with release of two new definitives

On today’s date in 1956, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued the country’s first 25-cent stamp with the release of two new definitives.

Both stamps celebrate what were then Canada’s prosperous secondary industries.

The 20-cent “Pulp and Paper” stamp (Scott #362) replaced the 1952 issue of the same denomination. This stamp, illustrating a scene in a paper mill, paid tribute to what was then Canada’s largest secondary industry. At this time, the pulp and paper industries had the highest export value and paid the highest wages of all Canadian secondary industries.

The stamp was designed by Alfred Joseph Casson and the picture was engraved by Silas Robert Allen.

The 25-cent ‘Canadian Chemical Industry’ stamp was also issued on June 7, 1956, as part of the department’s definitive release. It marked the country’s first 25-cent issue.


Upon its release on June 7, 1956, the 25-cent “Canadian Chemical Industry” stamp (SC #363) became the first 25-cent denomination issued by Canada.

Apart from paying registration and postage charges, the 25-cent stamps were used to pre-pay charges on overseas mail to certain destinations.

This stamp depicts a laboratory vessel and displays the scientific equipment commonly used for chemical research at that time. A chemical plant appears in the lower part of the glass container, and glass tubing extends from the vessel before enclosing a head of wheat, which represents agriculture.

Designed by Alan Pollock and modelled by Herman Herbert Schwartz, the stamp highlighted the significance of chemistry in Canadians’ daily lives as well as in the country’s development.

Both stamps were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company.

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