Seaway led to great error stamp

On this day in 1957, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened for traffic as the first ship passed through the Iroquois Lock at Cornwall.

The Seaway had been a dream since the late 1800s, and several locks and canals allowed access to smaller vessels. When opened, the seaway allowed ocean-going vessels to transit into the heart of North America. In 1957 work was still unde rway, and the seaway was not finally completed until 1959.

When the Seaway was finally finished, the event was marked with a five-cent stamp showing a map of the Seaway, and a linked eagle and maple leaf. A small number were printed with the blue portion inverted, creating one of the great rarities of Canadian philately.

While no date has been scheduled, the multi-national authority has plans to expand the seaway in the next 20 years to accept vessels up to 320 metres (1,000 feet).

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