OTD: Canada authorizes $50M in ‘War Savings’ stamps

On today’s date in 1918, the Government of Canada authorized the issuance of $50 million worth of $5 “War Savings” stamps.

Instructions for the program were provided in Chapter 12 of The Canada War Book, which was published in 1918.

“You are not even GIVING the money; you are merely LENDING it on the best security with the expectation of profitable returns. For the Government has provided an easy method, and one that should appeal to your sense of thrift,” reads The Canada War Book.

“With 25 cents you may buy a Thrift Stamp at the Post Office, where you are given a Thrift Card. With 16 spaces, in one of which you place the stamp. When the 16 spaces are filled, you exchange your Thrift Card for a War Savings Stamp, for which you have paid $4.00, plus, perhaps, a cent; or a few cents, and which will be worth to you $5.00 on January 1st, 1924. With the War Stamp you get a War Savings Certificate with 10 spaces, on one of which you affix the War Stamp. When the Certificate is filled, it has cost you a little over $40.00 and will be worth $50.00 on January 1st, 1924. Even were there no war, this would form an admirable game in ‘progressive thrift.’ The Thrift Stamp provides a means for saving small amounts till these reach the dignity of a War Savings Stamp, which bears interest at 4½%.”

More succinctly, the bottom of each stamp also reads: “When affixed to a War Savings Certificate and subject to the conditions printed thereon five dollars will be payable Jan. 1, 1924.”

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