Sending and receiving mail can be a lot of fun

A number of times I have written about the fact that I get more interesting mail than most people. Now when I say that I am not referring to the content of my correspondence, as interesting as it may be, but to the outside, the part that most normal people throw away. In my case, I think I am blessed in that much of my mail comes from stamp collectors. That means that my mail often includes such interesting features as personalized postage, reams of stamps that could best be described as vintage, and a fair number of hand-applied cancels. There are also a few just wonderful uses of stamps and covers. My readers also like to mark their mail with cachets, rubber stamps and more. For them sending a letter is almost as much fun as receiving is for me. Continue reading →

Third Brigham sale to feature never exhibited sheets and back of book

Among the revenues is a corner block of 14-cent overprint, on the 1915 nine-cent excise stamp, van Dam #FX28.

The third sale of the Ron Brigham Collection will feature material acquired but never publicly shown by Brigham, who was a prolific and successful exhibitor of Canadian stamps. The sale will be held Nov. 22, at the Brampton Golf Club, a different venue than the previous two sales, held at the Toronto Airport Hilton Hotel. At the second sale, held this spring, Brigham had said he would be moving to a different location. According to Charles J.G. Verge, chief executive officer of Brigham Auctions, the third session, will feature back of the book items from 1875 to 1978, and sheets from 1857 to 1952. Back of the book is a term used to describe stamps outside of the definitive and commemorative programs, such as air mails, postage dues, revenues, postal stationeries, and registered mail. “None of the material that is for sale has been seen because he (Ron) never put exhibits together of the back of the book material, and never exhibited the full sheets,” Verge said. “Much of it has been put away for a long time.” Continue reading →

Mail played major role in wartime Canada

By now, I’m sure pretty much everyone in Canada knows that the First World War started a century ago. I don’t think we can come close to really understanding the significance of the event. Back in 1914, I imagine things were a bit different. For one thing, it wasn’t called the First World War, or even the World War, it was just a war, which later became known as the Great War. People thought it would be over in just a few months. Continue reading →

Personal covers make stamp collecting relevant

I will be the first to admit that, when I first heard of picture postage, I wasn’t too impressed. Admittedly, that was before I started working for Canadian Stamp News, but I just sort of thought the idea of letting people put their own pictures on a stamp was a bit silly. I assumed it would only appeal to a hand full of individuals such as grandparents, self-absorbed brides, egoists of all sorts, and not all the sort of thing a country of Canada's stature should condone. Of course, people are always nervous about change, and I still remembered a time when stamps were a selection of definitives, all with the same design with just a different colour and value. Continue reading →

Famous discovery to be offered in Halifax auction

The third-known two-cent green large queen on laid paper, and the best -known Charles Connell stamp will both be offered in Halifax this month.

For the second time in less than 12 months an example of the two-cent large queen on laid paper will go on the auction block. The stamp will appear in Eastern Auctions’ general sale, being held Oct. 17-18. The stamp is the greatest rarity in Canadian philately, with only three known examples. The stamp being sold this month is the third, and was only discovered in 2013. At that time the discovery made front page news. U.S. collector Michael D. Smith found the stamp in an American Philatelic Society sales book, where it was listed as the common version, printed on wove paper. Continue reading →

Unions, think-tanks need to listen to Canadians

Another option is that, with an estimated 3,000 employees retiring per year, Canada Post can reduce its workforce by nearly half between now and 2021. All it has to do is not hire, shuffle staff from pickup and delivery to sorting as vacancies occur, and contract out the jobs left open. The institute points out the successes of New Zealand and Finland in saving money by making such reforms. Continue reading →

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