The 8th Maynard Sundman Lecture

September 19, 2010

Charles Verge: The First Canada-US Joint Issue: The 1959 St. Lawrence Seaway Commemorative and its Famous Invert

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00:24

[applause]

00:28

Thank you, Dr. Ganz.

00:32

It's always interesting to be able to talk to a group of people about a subject that one always is interested in.

00:39

And it became evident to me that this was a subject that, the St. Lawrence Seaway,

00:47

which I got interested in many years ago when I first started writing for Scott Stamp Monthly.

00:52

And, but I didn't realize how much, although a historian by training,

00:59

I didn't realize how much I needed to know a lot more about sources of information for philately.

01:05

But before I go into the presentation, as Cheryl mentioned,

01:11

we were supposed to do this presentation on February the 6th and I was at the

01:16

airport in Toronto and I was, you know, five seconds from getting on the plane

01:20

before Ellen called and cancelled.

01:22

And since then I've been razzed

01:25

by people saying, using the famous US Post Office Department motto that says,

01:32

neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet will keep you away from your appointed rounds.

01:40

So I'm glad you got the snow away.

01:44

However it's an absolutely gorgeous day outside, maybe we should have done this outside.

01:49

I'm thankful as well to the Sundman family for putting on these lectures because without the kind of

01:55

support the Sundmans and other people give to the hobby,

02:01

we wouldn't be able to put these presentations on.

02:08

It is very difficult to write a book on a modern subject.

02:15

And the reason for that is the stamps themselves are worthless.

02:20

And unless, like Canada you came up with a little quirk that says we

02:26

have an inverted stamp, then you really have no reason to write a book of this nature.

02:31

Nobody would be interested in the subject.

02:34

It has an additional side to it. It was a joint issue between two countries.

02:41

A joint issue is a stamp issue that has, not necessarily the same design,

02:48

but could have the same design.

02:50

Also it's a subject that is chosen to honor something in common.

02:55

It is not necessarily a stamp as well, it could be postal stationery,

02:59

it could also just be simply a postal cancellation.

03:06

To put a book like this together requires a lot of people and a lot of information

03:12

because it's not necessarily readily available.

03:16

This is not the 1847s, this is not the first issues of Britain

03:20

which had been written and overwritten to a certain, to a lot.

03:23

So to write a book like this you have to go to primary sources.

03:28

And it can be very helpful to have friends, like the late Wilson Hulme and Cheryl,

03:35

to get you entries into the US Post Office Department,

03:39

and get you entries into the BEP, the Bureau of Engraving Printing,

03:43

to get that kind of information.

03:46

So it's good it's very rewarding to be able, in this hobby, to be able to help each other out.

03:52

However it can also be there very frustrating

03:54

because when I went to the Canadian Postal Archives and looked for

03:58

the production files, which are for the American version are sitting right here

04:02

at the museum in the third Assistant Postmaster General's file,

04:06

I was all excited because there was all kinds of information.

04:10

And so I'm leafing through the first volume of information and I get to May 24th.

04:17

The stamp by the way was issued on June 26th.

04:20

So where is Volume 2? Well Volume 2 which would have covered the

04:24

period from May 24th to the first day of issue on June 26th and

04:30

everything that may have happened in the post office

04:33

when they discovered the inverted Seaway, has disappeared.

04:37

It is not there.

04:38

So, one of the major stumbling blocks in preparing a book like this is not

04:46

the post office's reaction to the inverted Seaway, not having the post office's

04:53

information on what happened on the first day of issue, because we'll see

04:58

later on it was not an easy task for either country, the first day of issue.

05:03

Thank God that they wrote to each other,

05:07

and this is where the cooperation came in.

05:11

Thank God we have a British parliamentary system where the post office

05:16

had to write to the Postmaster General and keep him informed

05:21

in the shape of memoranda as to what was happening because

05:25

Postmaster General Hamilton's papers are in the archive.

05:28

So I was able to get his copy of the

05:31

memoranda talking about the inverted Seaways.

05:33

But the research to do this kind of

05:36

book is extremely difficult because it is so, it's all over the place.

05:41

And you get also some very sometimes very lucky.

05:45

A gentleman called Joseph Montero

05:48

has put a book together over a bibliography of articles written about

05:53

Canadian stamps in the 19, in the, since the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

05:59

and in that book, in the bibliography is a list of over 200 daily newspapers

06:07

which he consulted that wrote about the inverted Seaway when it was first found in September and October.

06:15

That saves so much time for me not having to go

06:18

looking at each newspaper every newspaper every day across the country.

06:24

Now having said that it wasn't complete and I found other articles but it was

06:29

still a huge boon because all I had to do was go to the Canadian Postal Archive,

06:33

the Canadian National Archives and sit there and go through micro films and I knew

06:36

exactly which newspaper in which page to go looking for.

06:41

So doing research for a book like this is very paramount. Is very important.

06:48

It can be so much fun and you can find all kinds of sidelines and details that you never thought you would.

06:55

The book has a number of chapters. I'm not going to go through them.

07:00

I'm not going to list them for you. But what I'm going to say is the book, is that I tried to make a balanced book.

07:08

I tried to make it interesting for the general public,

07:13

interesting for the collector, but also interesting for the historian.

07:16

Because this was the first negotiated joint issue or the first joint issue

07:21

between our two countries and it also brought in the whole politics of diplomatic relations.

07:30

And so I wanted to make sure that that part of the equation was also covered.

07:36

Because cross-border negotiations wasn't

07:38

something they were used to doing at the post offices at the time.

07:42

They were used to doing treaties about postal rates but certainly not about stamp designs.

07:49

The one thing that I'm going to very quickly talk about as well is the St. Lawrence Seaway itself.

07:57

Now I was young when it happened.

08:03

I didn't realize until I started writing the book how big the St. Lawrence Seaway was.

08:10

How big an economical benefit it was going to be for the country.

08:16

How much people were excited about the development of this highway that would bring goods from the

08:28

Atlantic all the way up to the lake head and Chicago and past.

08:34

It was a big thing. It was a big thing for the economy. It was a big thing for politicians.

08:42

It was a big thing for philatelists as well.

08:47

It costs over half a billion dollars to build it.

08:52

I'm going to use the term buried but it swallowed villages

08:58

and cemeteries and all kinds of things to create this, what they now have a renamed

09:05

by the way in 2004, it is no longer the St. Lawrence Seaway, it's called Highway H2O.

09:12

Why? I have no idea. But I guess you have to be modern in your interpretation

09:19

of what somebody should call it. New branding, I guess.

09:23

So the St. Lawrence Seaway was a very, very big thing.

09:27

It was so big in fact, that they, in 1956, three years before it was even opened,

09:34

they invited the Queen, who is also the Queen of Canada,

09:38

to come and open the Seaway.

09:41

And they made arrangements with the American

09:44

government to have President Eisenhower also there to open the Seaway.

09:53

Was this a joint first issue?

09:56

Well the answer to that question is, depends.

10:04

There was a movement called Peace Among the English People which was a movement in 1914

10:12

to put together a series of commemorative meetings for the end of the War of 1812,

10:21

and between Britain and the United States.

10:29

The idea was to do many commemorative events, meetings, balls, and parades, and all kinds of things.

10:37

But also to issue stamps, and the two top stamps were designed by the BEP for this event.

10:45

The one at the bottom, the one cent, is very similar in concept and design to the two cents from the US.

10:58

There were two more Canadian snaps that were prepared as well.

11:02

And showing the Coats of Arms of Britain and Canada,

11:05

and the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war of 1812-1814.

11:12

The five cents with the Treaty of Ghent was also a

11:18

a design that was adopted by the BEP.

11:21

There are two more BEP designs and so

11:23

there are four all together from the west side that were prepared, very similar in

11:29

size to the current ones that you see, but also one of them showing the Treaty of Ghent,

11:35

the other one showed President James Madison who was the president at the time.

11:41

The stamps were never issued as you well know.

11:47

And they weren't issued because it was deemed inappropriate

11:51

to celebrate peace amongst the English-speaking people when we were at World War I, during World War I.

11:58

And so that's why the stamps were never issued.

12:01

But they had planned some kind of joint issue.

12:05

Now had it been planned to be issued on the same day?

12:09

The archives don't say. But it was planned to be issued in December of 1914

12:14

which was the anniversary of the Treaty of Ghent.

12:17

The Canada one-cent stamp as an aside was used,

12:22

the design for that was used for another series or it was used for a

12:27

50-cent value in another series which was not issued either,

12:30

to celebrate 100th Anniversary of the first Canadian Prime Minister Johnny MacDonald.

12:35

And that was again because the war intervened and paper was better used for something else.

12:41

And it was used, the design was used again for a third time or for a special delivery stamp,

12:46

you know, it was rejected again so nobody tried to try a fourth time.

12:55

This man Lloyd J. Merryman who was born in 1890 and died in 1986,

13:01

is the man responsible for the joint issues.

13:05

He is to blame, for those of you who don't think we should have had joint issues, because there are people

13:10

who didn't believe we should have joint issues in 1959.

13:14

There were people writing letters to the editors and to politicians for all kinds of reasons,

13:21

saying that, and most of them more nationalistic,

13:25

for reasons of national pride or whatever,

13:30

in Canada, they thought it was

13:32

because if we did that then we'd have, we would be looked at from the rest of the

13:37

world as the 51st state in the United States, that they didn't like

13:43

because the eagle was below the maple leaf on the design and the reason for

13:48

that is quite simple the U.S. is below Canada in geography.

13:52

But Merryman, that photo comes from the Canton repository, he was a very, very good promoter,

14:01

a bit like Allen Kane, he always went selling things.

14:05

And he served in World War I in France.

14:09

He was a reporter for the American Expeditionary Force newspaper called Stars and Stripes.

14:15

And he spent a fair amount of time on

14:17

the editorial staff of the Marian Star when President Harding was its publisher.

14:23

But he spent most of his career from 1921 to 1955 working as editor of

14:29

various publications of the Hoover Company.

14:32

And what's shown here is the captain

14:37

when he received from the Postmaster General Summerfield,

14:43

a sheet of signed stamps by Summerfield.

14:47

He went straight to the Canton Repository which was a local newspaper

14:50

and had them write him up, and had them take a photo of him with his stamps

14:55

because for him it was extremely important to be recognized

14:58

as the person who was responsible.

15:02

The US Post Office and the Canadian Post Office

15:07

do not normally recognize an individual as the originator of the idea.

15:13

They say they received the idea from many people but

15:17

for him it was extremely important to be recognized.

15:21

Summerfield never officially recognized them.

15:23

And in the book you'll see why but also in the book you'll see

15:27

that he did finally get recognition but he got it from the Canadian government.

15:34

What he did is he wrote a letter and in it, it says,

15:39

I would like to go on record with the suggestion that when an appropriate time arrives in connection

15:46

with the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway a commemorative postage

15:49

stamp be issued jointly by the United States and Canada.

15:52

He wrote that letter on June 1st, 1955.

15:57

And in that letter, he wrote it to his congressman a Republican,

16:02

and in that letter he says, do you remember that in

16:05

the fall of 1954 at a rally at the American Legion in Canton, Ohio, I suggested this?

16:14

Well he suggested this at this rally which was in September of 1954

16:18

a couple of weeks after they first put the shovel into the ground on August the 10th for the groundbreaking.

16:25

So he was quite at the forefront by his letter to Congressman Bow to get the the idea going.

16:37

In 1956 it was confirmed that the

16:40

Queen would come and open the St. Lawrence Seaway.

16:43

And the Canadian government had planned to issue three stamps for the visit

16:49

and for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

16:52

One stamp would be the Queen, one stamp would show the St. Lawrence Seaway opening, and a third would be hydroelectric.

17:02

Because at the time the St. Lawrence Seaway was more than just an important waterway to carry goods,

17:08

it was also going to create a lot of electricity by different dams it was going to have.

17:16

The design chosen for the Queen was,

17:21

this is an essay by Tom Prosser based on engraving by George Gundersen from a

17:26

painting by Pietro Annigoni, and it is basically the stamp that was issued.

17:33

And the idea though that because it was going to be associated with the Seaway,

17:40

they put little waves in the back of the design. It's more evident on this one.

17:48

And as an aside we were talking at brunch this morning with Allen about the idea

17:53

that museums think about items as each individual stamp is a separate item.

18:00

The Canadian Postal Museum has that view as well.

18:03

So below each of them there's an entry number for each individual stamp rather than the

18:09

whole item which as philatelists we consider to be the more important thing.

18:15

So they don't have an identification number for the item.

18:19

They have an identification number for each of the different stamps on the item.

18:23

And I feel that that is, you know, a crime to have written those numbers on that

18:29

document because it changes the nature of the original document.

18:34

The cover beside it it's basically a usage of the stamp.

18:42

The Queen arrived in Canada on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

18:46

And the Royal Yacht Britannia was used as the vehicle

18:49

to carry her and President Eisenhower across the Saint-Lambert locks to open the St. Lawrence Seaway.

18:55

But after that was done President Eisenhower went back to Washington.

19:00

She kept sailing up to Massena and she opened the US side of

19:04

the St. Lawrence Seaway with Vice President Nixon.

19:08

She then got off the ship later on. She took the ship all the way up the Great Lakes and

19:15

then she got off the ship and kept on going across Canada on the Royal Train.

19:20

So this was posted sometime in July from the Royal Train

19:25

with the flag officers of the Royal Yacht Britannia's cancelling device.

19:32

As I said earlier, the the Canadian Post Office had decided to have three stamps.

19:40

And the one that for the St. Lawrence Seaway, what they wanted to do is do construction.

19:45

And they were going to have this design by Ellen Pollock changed slightly

19:51

to include Seaway marine kind of construction.

19:54

And then the other one was going to be the Queen which we saw earlier.

19:59

And the third one was going to be a hydroelectric. And I particularly like this stamp.

20:04

I think it's a beautiful stamp design. It's unfortunate we've never used it.

20:10

Because as you will see later on, as a joint issue, the three stamps went by the wayside.

20:18

The Postmaster General William Hamilton sent the third design by

20:25

Pollock to Summerfield after Summerfield wrote to William Hamilton

20:32

and said, okay we'd like to do a joint issue.

20:35

Joint issue was something that the Americans supported from the very outset.

20:39

They negotiated with the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority.

20:42

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority has two branches one in Canada, one in the US.

20:47

The Canadian one went to the Canadian Post Office and the Canadian Post Office said,

20:50

no we're not interested in joint issues at all, at all, at all.

20:54

In June of 1957 the government changed in Canada from a liberal government to a conservative government

21:00

and William Hamilton became Postmaster General and he was all for it.

21:06

And so the Canadian Post Office officials had to reverse track.

21:11

So they sent this design to Summerfield as an idea of what could be

21:18

done and had already been developed by Canadian designers.

21:24

They had meetings with the Saint Lawrence Seaway Authority and the St. Lawrence Seaway authorities representative,

21:31

a man called Barrio said, you know we should have this

21:35

competition you know, countrywide competition for the design.

21:38

The post office said no we don't do that, and he gave all kinds of ideas and suggestions and

21:43

finally the post office after being harassed by him for months decided to

21:48

agree that they would use one of his designers from the St. Lawrence Seaway

21:51

a guy called Haye, who came up with that design which looks exactly like Pollock's design.

21:58

But the post office did not want to use Haye. And so they went

22:03

to the National Gallery of Canada and they got the creator of the National

22:07

Gallery of Canada to really just destroy Haye's stamp really, really destroy it with a

22:13

whole list of reasons why it shouldn't be chosen.

22:17

When you look at it, and you look at Pollock's design which was sent to Summerfield,

22:21

there is very, very little difference. So why would one be good and one not?

22:26

Politics comes to play. The stamp that Pollock had done had been drawn in '57.

22:36

In '58, he sent this new design to the

22:43

Postmaster General and said this is a revised version of what I did a year earlier.

22:51

But the Deputy Postmaster General had also sent him a

22:55

letter earlier and said you know could you incorporate these elements of the design?

23:00

Now this is what I call the design by committee.

23:06

The Postmaster General wanted the stamp to show the globe from the North Pole and include

23:13

all the Canadian Arctic Islands. Why did he want to do that?

23:15

Well because we could assumed responsibility, our sovereignty on the on the Arctic Islands.

23:21

He wanted a map of eastern Canada. He wanted the Atlantic and Western European

23:26

shipping lanes and at the time the government of Canada was developing

23:31

Frobisher Bay in the Arctic as an international airport for the trans

23:36

shipping of commercial goods. So he wanted to show that as well.

23:41

And so it was just a hogwash of design. And thank God it wasn't ever accepted.

23:48

It would never have gone through anyway as a joint issue.

23:51

The P at the bottom in the 1950s

23:54

and late 40s, 1950s and early '60s, designers in Canada were allowed to put

24:00

their initial on the stamp. So that's Pollock's initial.

24:04

Now we come to real hard work in negotiations. On July 10th, 1958, the Postmasters General agreed that

24:11

there would be a meeting. And the meeting was held in Ottawa and these are the people,

24:19

let's be honest, these are the men who got involved in the joint issue.

24:24

As you can see there's not a woman in there. They're important for a lot of reasons

24:32

because you will see that none of them or diplomats. There was no involvement of

24:38

the Foreign Affairs or the Secretary of State's office in this in this business of joint issues.

24:44

It was left up to the two post offices.

24:47

The man, I'll start with the people who are sitting.

24:51

The one on the left is Bernard Davis who was the Director of the National Postal Museum in Philadelphia.

24:58

The second is Donald Macleod. He was a Superintendent of Engraving and Plating at the Bureau of Engraving and printing.

25:08

The third is a man called Rohe Walter and we'll talk about him,

25:13

he was a Special Assistant to the Postmaster General and he was

25:16

Chairman of the American stamp Advisory committee or the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.

25:21

The next of the Canadian Postmaster General Will Hamilton and his

25:24

Deputy to his left, G.A. Boyle who was the guy who did the design by committee.

25:30

The five men at the top left are the designers that were involved in

25:37

a different design process for these stamps. They are always quoted as a group

25:42

as being responsible for the stamp that was finally issued.

25:47

There was never any one of them given credit for the design as we'll see one of them should get the credit.

25:57

The five of them, there are two Canadians and three Americans.

26:02

So you have Copeland on the left. The shorter man in front of him is Irvin Metzel.

26:09

The two men in the back are A. L. Pollock with gray hair and Gerald Trottier.

26:14

And then the other one in front of Trottier is a man called Buckley.

26:19

And beside them is D. M. Coolican who was the President of the Canadian Banknote Company

26:29

who were going to print the stamps.

26:31

J. R. Carpenter who's of Philatelic Section for the Canadian Post Office Superintendent.

26:37

H. L. Linquist who was a member of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.

26:42

Sol Glass who was also a member of the United States Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.

26:47

The very, very tall man is a guy called Malcolm and he was the Director of

26:52

Administration for the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority which is the Canadian arm.

26:57

Beside him is Frank Bruns who was at the time between his two stints as Museum Director,

27:03

he was the Director of the Philatelic Service at the U.S.P.O.D.

27:09

And the last man is Donald Buchanan the Assistant Director of the National Gallery of Canada

27:14

who was part of the Canadian stamp Advisory Committee and the one who trashed the Haye design.

27:20

Rohe Walter and William Hamilton were the two main people involved in the negotiations for this joint issue.

27:30

Rohe Walter was born in 1899 and died in 1966.

27:34

And he was an advertising manager and ended up being the President of the Direct Mail Advertising Association.

27:42

And he then went on to teach at Columbia but he spent the

27:46

Eisenhower years as a special assistant for public relations to the Postmaster General from 1953 to 1961.

27:54

He was the first Chairman of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee from 1957 to 1961.

28:02

He and William Hamilton, had it not been for those two men I don't think that there

28:07

would have been as much cooperation because they were both very interested

28:11

in stamps, extremely interested in stamps. And so William Hamilton Faraz is the

28:18

probably the second most important Postmaster General for philatelic

28:23

reasons in Canada after Sir William Mulock in the 1890s, who created, you know

28:28

who was really a man who brought us the Jubilee issues and brought us all kinds

28:33

of things, and the map stamp which we were very famous for as the first Canadian as

28:37

the first Christmas stamp.

28:39

Hamilton was a business administrator and Montreal City Councilor before being elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1953.

28:49

And he lost his seat in 1962. He was a Postmaster General from '57 to '62.

28:57

He annoyed a number of his colleagues with a passion because prior to his becoming Postmaster General,

29:07

postmasterships were rewards for party supporters and if you were a postmaster

29:15

you'd get kicked out when the government changed.

29:19

He stopped that.

29:22

He also drew the ire which most Postmasters General would still get today

29:28

because he started closing inefficient and small post offices.

29:31

So he was not a very popular man with his colleagues in government.

29:36

The other problem, the other reason, you can look at him,

29:40

physically he's not very attractive, a bigger head than his body,

29:44

was a very small man, but he also had cerebral palsy, and he had a brain disorder,

29:52

and he walked with great difficulty, and his arm was atrophied to a certain extent.

29:57

But he had quite a mind apparently even with this cerebral palsy.

30:03

At that meeting on the 10th of July 1958, it was decided that three elements

30:07

would be used for the design and that would be the trident, the eagle, and the maple leaf.

30:13

This is the crest of St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation which is the American side of the coin.

30:24

At the end of that meeting Pollock went back home and created this design.

30:28

His loops are supposed to be the trident and you see the the maple leaf and the eagle.

30:39

He refined that, made it look like a real design and that was sent to the US Post Office.

30:51

But it's a quite an original design because if you

30:53

take the wording United States Post Office, St. Lawrence Seaway, and four cents away you get this.

31:01

And then you get the Canadian version.

31:04

And so that was to be the joint issue based on Pollack's view of what the conversation was in October.

31:18

The post office didn't like anything that came out of the October meeting

31:23

and so it decided to come out with another set of designs that were produced by Philip Weiss

31:30

who was an artist at the Trade and Commerce office.

31:33

And those were, this one was sent to the US Post Office Department and these two

31:38

which were again similar models were kept in Canada.

31:42

They were never seen. They have never been seen together until I put them in the book

31:47

because the top one is still here in the USPS and the other two are in Canada.

31:53

Buckley used the July 10th meeting to show his proposed designs on the left

32:00

and Copeland used the October meeting to show these.

32:06

Buckley came back on October 17th and he came back with which is now the, more the design that was accepted.

32:14

And so we now know that Buckley is the one responsible for the design.

32:22

There was a number of design issues and they're all related to the maple leaf and they the eagle.

32:31

And as you saw in the previous one the maple leaf looks a little weird.

32:38

And so the Canadian government sent the US Post Office a,

32:45

they tore, they cut out a piece of a military promotion and recruitment poster

32:49

and sent that to the post office. The post office used that leaf to design these.

32:54

But you'll see the eagle at the top has lower shoulders and he's sitting on a piece of wood.

33:01

And the eagle at the bottom has higher shoulders and is sitting on an olive branch

33:06

which is the design that was selected, but it was rather interesting.

33:11

People think that the eagle looks more militaristic when the wings are up.

33:17

The reason is a design reason. It has nothing to do with militaristic.

33:20

It's just that if you look at the other one, his wings fell into the lakes, the Great Lakes.

33:25

And so they wanted something that would put the eagle apart.

33:30

Pollock was a Canadian designer. Trottier was another one. This is an envelope signed by both of them.

33:40

Privacy to information didn't exist at the time. So if you wrote to the post office and said I want the address of the designers

33:45

they give you the address of the designers and you could write to them

33:48

and say, can I have your signatures on covers? They would never do that today.

33:52

And Yves Baril is the guy who engraved the the vignette.

33:57

Metzel as I showed you, is one of them. The modeler was Charles Chickering.

34:03

The engraver of the vignette was a guy called Bauer, Richard Bauer.

34:07

The letterer engraving was George Pain.

34:10

I don't have other pictures of Copeland and Buckley except the ones I showed you as a group photograph.

34:17

This is the accepted artwork by both post offices.

34:21

And Rohe Walter requested that they play with colors, that Buckley play with colors.

34:27

At the time, at the outset the stamp was to be blue, both stamps were to be blue,

34:32

not a single color stamp as it was done at the time.

34:35

And then there was a decision to make the the US stamp blue with red lettering

34:42

and Canadian snap red with blue lettering.

34:45

And so Buckley went around playing with different possibilities of colors.

34:50

And the Canadian government with that red decided to have a different number of essays to show different reds

34:57

and you know, color is in the eyes of the beholders.

35:01

But these were the six essays that for me not only were important to them to choose the red but

35:07

were important for me to see of the printer had done the right thing with my book.

35:11

Because those are the six images I used in the book,

35:15

to make sure that I had the right color for everything else.

35:19

The approved design was signed on April the 6th by our Postmaster General.

35:25

But it already had been signed three weeks earlier by Summerfield on March 17th.

35:30

The reason for the delay is that the American post office had forgotten to tell the Canadian post office

35:35

they'd changed the eagle, and they had changed the eagle sitting on an olive branch.

35:40

So it is only when McLeod came with the

35:43

final design approved that the engraver realized that there had been a change

35:50

and had to re-engrave a Canadian version of the stamp.

35:54

First day of issue, June 26, 1959.

35:57

This is the Ottawa Post Office and this is where they processed the first day covers.

36:03

They were all processed in Ottawa.

36:06

Contrary to the US where Messina was the only site for first day covers,

36:12

in Canada you could buy the stamps anywhere.

36:14

There's only one official site but you could buy the stamps anywhere

36:18

so there are first day covers from all over the country available from any post office.

36:23

There's a film that Summerfield made about this stamp and its production.

36:29

And in the film, which was rescued by Daniel Piazza for me,

36:34

it shows all the mail being sorted by men

36:41

and all the first day covers being prepared by women.

36:45

And in the documents it does say, to the postmaster in Messina,

36:51

Frank Bruns wrights to the postmaster in Messina and says,

36:53

please hire women to prepare the first day covers, they're much more meticulous.

36:57

I thought that was quite interesting.

37:00

But there's not a woman sorter in the place.

37:04

These are examples of first day covers, different cancellations,

37:10

the official cancellation at the top from Canada, from the Ottawa Post Office.

37:16

This is the one complaint I got about the book,

37:18

there's not enough information and not of examples of first day covers.

37:22

The first day cover collecting group really, really wanted a lot more.

37:27

They wanted me to put a whole list of cachets.

37:31

These are the American examples.

37:34

Now one of the important things about the American examples that I want to talk about is the two lower ones.

37:38

The US had machine cancels which is the one on the left, lower left,

37:46

and had seven hand cancels which are the cancels on the on the right.

37:54

The problems that arose with first day covers go on, and on, and on, and on,

38:00

but both post offices would not recognize the fact that a stamp was canceled in another country.

38:05

If a stamp was cancelled in another country, they would not cancel it again.

38:11

The Canadians were very adamant that you could not cancel both stamps with the Canadian cancel.

38:18

The Americans said we don't care.

38:21

We will cancel them both from the different countries together

38:25

but it either has to be at the left of the US which is the one on the lower left

38:30

or below the one in the US which is the one on the lower right.

38:36

There are 10% of the covers prepared this way, look like the one on the left.

38:42

90% look like the one on the right.

38:44

People preferred putting it below then to the left.

38:47

And I think that has to do more with the fact that the cancel,

38:50

if he put it to the left the cancel was hidden.

38:55

This was totally legal.

38:58

This was not something that because one country had canceled before the other it was totally illegal.

39:06

And it's not easy.

39:08

You had to go in 1959, buy the stamps in Massena, New York and then go up to Ottawa

39:12

or vice versa buy the stamps because each post office did not sell the other's postage stamps.

39:18

This is fascinating because a man called Gilbert Hubbard of Susie's Service in Brooklyn, New York

39:27

got his covers confiscated by the Postmaster in Massena, New York

39:32

because he had tried to do this, put both cancels like we saw in the previous one,

39:40

and then later on in the fall he discovered that some of the ones,

39:46

like his, that had been confiscated wore on sale in New York.

39:48

So he made a complaint to the UPOD who sent two inspectors called Bader and Kelly.

39:53

And they wrote a five page report in November of 1959.

39:59

What's interesting in that report is that the gentleman,

40:03

that a woman called Gladys Jackson who was a wholesaler of first day covers in New York,

40:09

told the inspectors that they were very, very jealous when they found out that this

40:16

guy could figure out how to do the trick of folding these things

40:21

so that the post office would not notice that it had been previously canceled.

40:26

And she identified the man as being a man from Ohio.

40:30

Well it turns out that I have never found a cover from a man from Ohio.

40:36

The two covers on the left are from a guy called Walsh who lived in Detroit and he produced these.

40:44

The one on the right I never knew who it was until I started looking at the back of these

40:49

things and there were at least four them with the same name in the back

40:52

Neville Spence who was a government official who worked at Agriculture Canada and lived in Ottawa.

41:00

So these are some of the more difficult to acquire first day covers of the issue.

41:07

There was a second day of issue.

41:09

This is common in the United States but doesn't exist in Canada.

41:12

And Alfred Borger who is the cachet maker for the one at the bottom was a friend of Frank Bruns and

41:21

convinced Frank Brunz that the second day of issue should be in Toledo, Ohio.

41:25

The top right corner is a cachet unadopted prepared by the Post Office stamps staff in Toledo.

41:33

And this is the program.

41:36

Now the program is the original program, the first program of a second day program.

41:42

There's never been a second day program before this one.

41:46

I'm going to have to go quicker, I guess.

41:50

The inverted Seaway

41:51

It's the best thing that ever happened Canadian philately according to

41:53

Dr. Geldard who was president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada at the time.

41:57

It was better than the Queen visiting. How did it happen?

42:02

We'll go through these different things. So we go quickly.

42:11

The Canadian stamp was printed through two passes and so it had to move the

42:17

blue first, and then the red first, to get the double colors.

42:22

In the U.S. it could not happen because they use the Giori Press

42:26

and the Giori could print two colors at the same time.

42:29

And that's what they did and that's why it happened in Canada.

42:32

Here's a slide that shows how many inverted Seaways were discovered.

42:38

One of the problems, as you can see for the last one,

42:41

there's a lot more than people think, 4,275 of them, which is a lot of panes of stamps.

42:47

3,800 of those were found by the printer before they got to the public and they were destroyed.

42:54

And here's the destruction order.

43:00

It was really a hunt in Canada once Valesky who was on the top right

43:06

decided to advertise the fact that these inverted Seaways came around.

43:09

The guy on the left is a man called Ernest Slutchuk, at the top. He was 18 years old.

43:14

He was a messenger for a company in Winnipeg and he was sent by the woman Mildred Mason

43:20

who's with all the huge bundles of one dollar bills, to buy stamps at the post office.

43:26

And she was putting them on the envelopes and discovered the inverted Seaway.

43:31

They brought Valesky and the rest is history.

43:35

The people on the left at the bottom are Fred and Lucy Hubbard.

43:39

And she bought a half sheet of the stamps and became very famous

43:49

in the sense that she was very wise and how she sold them

43:52

but she managed to sell them in a way such that she had enough money

43:54

to put both of her kids and all three her grandchildren through university.

43:59

So she waited and bided her time.

44:02

The three men at the bottom with their stamp dealer at the top Jean les Pins

44:07

are very important in the,

44:12

they're very important the story because they're sheet became an extremely important,

44:20

Winnipeg was the original find.

44:23

A couple of weeks later the Postmaster General said there were 600,

44:28

we know where they all are, and there were sheets of 200 so only three sheets had been printed inverted.

44:33

There were six in private hands, one in Winnipeg, one in Southampton, two in Picton, one in Ottawa,

44:39

one in Smiths Falls, and one had been returned from Winnipeg by the postal officials,

44:44

one had been returned by Peterborough and they had found four

44:48

in the Canadian banknotes depository where they were mailing them out.

44:52

So for the Postmaster General there were only three hundred only three sheets of 200.

44:57

However, up comes Joliette which is another 50, which does no longer allow.

45:04

So there are three more sheets. There has to be three more panes of the stamps.

45:09

So instead of 600 there are now at 800.

45:13

Where are they?

45:14

Dr. Geldert who we talked about earlier, Illustrated two corner blocks

45:19

in two different articles in 1959 and are not the same.

45:25

So there has to have been access by him to two different sheets in Ottawa.

45:30

There's a mere rumor that the Postmaster General Mr. Hamilton

45:33

may have had a sheet and it was still intact in the 1980s,

45:37

but nobody knows what has happened to it.

45:39

The one that is more verifiable is the Postmaster outside Winnipeg who started selling, never returned his sheet,

45:46

and started selling the stamps when he needed money to go on holidays and all

45:50

of the stamps that come from that find are all sold through Harmer's.

45:54

So they have never had another provenance, they just appear.

45:57

All of a sudden there's a block of six one night in 2006 at Harmer's

46:02

that comes from the same sheet that Harmer's sold singles from 20 years ago.

46:06

So that one has more credibility.

46:10

There's a story that the Royal Philatelic Collection may have gotten half the sheet of 25 that came from Winnipeg.

46:18

So much work has been done by three previous keepers, the current keeper and others, and no she didn't get it.

46:24

Then there was a rumor that we sent them a block of four in 1977 for her 25th anniversary on the throne.

46:34

That's not true either. So she has no Inverted Seaways.

46:39

The post office kept them.

46:42

And so they had two sheets, one from Winnipeg, one from Peterborough.

46:47

The sheet from Peterborough is still intact. They broke the sheets from Winnipeg into two.

46:53

Twenty five of them, a block of 25 was put on a card and stolen at a stamp show, and their whereabouts are now unknown.

47:02

This is the sheet of 50 that it currently is in Library and Archives Canada.

47:07

This is the 25 that have been stolen. And, low and behold, the corner one appeared at a stamp dealers auction in 2004.

47:17

The archives went back and said, hey, that's ours, and they got it back.

47:27

The value of the stamps really depends on their condition and the market and I'm not getting getting into that.

47:33

But it really depends on how good the condition, the condition, most of them it's not that good.

47:37

The centering is not that good either.

47:39

Most of them have difficulty with their gums and the quality

47:42

because people kept them in their pockets when they found them.

47:45

There are 16 known on cover which includes, but the one postcard which is uprated and six on piece.

47:51

They're all documented. We know exactly where they are, who's got them and it's all mentioned in the book.

47:57

Is there a US rarity of the issue? Yep, there is.

48:02

There are two recorded and there should be six more because again

48:07

the U.S. stamps were printed in plates, or sheets of 200.

48:12

And this is it. It is a plate block that had, there's the number 26 343, that should not exist.

48:20

On February 27, 1963 George Brett wrote to the United States Post Office and said this is not recorded.

48:30

The BEP and the Post Office responded that they printed 669 sheets from this, and they were all destroyed

48:38

because they were damaged and the plate was too small.

48:42

How these came into the public domain, God knows.

48:45

But Brett assumed that postal inspectors saw a couple of the sheets when they were looking at them

48:55

to be in good enough condition to sell and so they let them go through.

48:59

That's the only explanation they could come up with.

49:03

But if you can find another one of these plate blocks, the two upper left are known

49:09

so there should be you know the two upper right and the two upper the lower

49:13

left and the two lower rights as well.

49:17

But they have never appeared within the 1960s. Brett knew the two in the 1960s.

49:25

So that's it. There's a lot more in the book, a lot more social interests,

49:31

a lot more social information about who found them, where they, you know, where they are.

49:37

A lot more details about the listing of the covers, stories about the covers,

49:43

and also the large multiples that are still in existence and where they come from.

49:49

Because many of the larger multiples have been broken down into smaller sizes.

49:53

Dr. Ganz?

49:56

Well, thank you.

49:58

[applause]

50:07

So we're going to have a little time for Q&A;.

50:08

And remember this is recorded so we're going to ask that you speak into a microphone.

50:13

Kate over here we'll have a microphone and I have one, depending on where you are in the room.

50:17

So we'll open the floor to questions and don't be shy.

50:28

While you're thinking of the question to ask...

50:31

Our museum is lucky enough to own one invert.

50:34

We did have it on view in the Alphabetilately exhibit which is still up

50:38

but we've replaced it with a facsimile because of light protection purposes.

50:44

A lot of you know that if you expose stamps to too much light the ink can fade.

50:49

So we only left it up for about a year.

50:51

That stamp was donated to the museum by a man called George Ludlow Lee

50:57

whose picture is up in the new exhibition by the way.

51:00

And he was the owner of the largest number of inverted Seaways at the time in 1961.

51:11

The other thing that was important about this National Postal Museum

51:15

is they have a plate proof sheet that shows which plates were pulled and which weren't.

51:24

It's indicated at the bottom, including the fact that this very rare plate was in fact printed but was never pulled.

51:32

So they don't have a copy of the rare plate pull here.

51:38

And that's a good moment for me to segue into a plug for Arago, that's part of our website.

51:43

It's our online database and if you go on and search Seaway, or any other keyword,

51:48

up will come all the stamps and everything we have related to that stamp.

51:52

And you can enlarge them. And it's a great website, if you've never been on it.

51:55

Now I know you're just all eager to put your hand up any other any thoughts?

51:59

Yes, Bill?

52:01

Was there an investigation of how this error occurred, and was blame placed on somebody, or heads roll?

52:11

Investigations definitely.

52:13

Hamilton really, really wanted to know how it happened.

52:20

Nobody's head rolled, that I know of, because the files have disappeared.

52:24

And so there's no proof that anybody got blamed for it, except the printers.

52:32

And that didn't change Coolican's life because he was

52:37

still around for another five years as President of the Canadian Bank Note.

52:41

But from that point on the post office was much more vigilant

52:48

about sending its own inspectors into the printing plant.

52:52

The other thing that was interesting,

52:55

this was the first issue of Canada that was not distributed by the post office to local post offices.

53:02

It was the first issue to have been distributed directly from the printers

53:07

to the depots across the country as per the agreement that the government had made with the printers.

53:14

That agreement continued after but the postal department sent inspectors

53:20

to look at the material before to do the quality control.

53:24

It still does today. The Canadian post office still does today but on an ad hoc basis.

53:30

It doesn't do it on a regular basis.

53:33

It does it mainly for our, it does it regularly for the annual Lunar New Year souvenir sheet and the stamp

53:44

simply because it's printed in over ten colors, and it's got embossing, and it's got foil,

53:49

and it's got so many possibilities of errors so they do that.

53:55

Anyone else with a question?

53:57

Yes?

54:03

I am not a philatelist and my very untrained eye may be in error here but,

54:09

I'm wondering if the invert shown on the screen is an example of a poorly centered invert?

54:20

I say that simply because the tops of the letters

54:24

of the word Canada kiss the the blue image...

54:27

They all do.

54:28

...in the middle, whereas the right side up ones, they don't.

54:33

If they don't, it's a forgery. They all kiss the image.

54:37

And that's because, that's how the design was done.

54:42

So if you reverse the lettering, as you notice the lettering at the top is smaller on a regular stamp.

54:52

The other thing I wanted to mention is, it doesn't look like it on the cover of the book, but the Canadian stamp

54:58

and the U.S. stamp are not the same size.

55:00

The US stamp is slightly wider.

55:03

And the blue on the Canadian stamp and the blue on the U.S. stamp are of different hues.

55:07

And the reason for that is because originally the choice was to use a blue that was

55:13

more a sea blue, or an ocean blue, which was conceived to be an ocean blue not an ocean green.

55:18

But Rohe Walter, at the last minute, decided he wanted the blue on a US stamp

55:23

to be the same blue as on the US flag.

55:28

Okay one last question?

55:32

Then I'll ask it.

55:33

So were there many forgeries?

55:37

No. It was very, very difficult to create the forgeries.

55:41

There was an attempt by a couple of people in Vancouver.

55:48

It was very, very difficult to attempt to do that. They couldn't get the color right.

55:53

They couldn't get the paper right.

55:54

And they exist in the Canadian Postal Museum but they don't exist in the market.

56:03

What people are doing however is they're cutting the inside blue part and reversing it.

56:09

Now believe it or not, there are first day covers like that, except that when you look at them very closely

56:14

they chose the proper lines so the lines wouldn't touch the

56:18

blue part and would only touch the white and the red lettering.

56:21

They cut the inside and they put a new one on top of the other one. It's, that is what's very, very common.

56:28

I remember going, and this story is in the book,

56:30

I went to a stamp show to judge and a local stamp show in Kingston, Ontario

56:36

and a man had in his exhibit an inverted Seaway.

56:39

And it was evident that he had cut out, or somebody had cut out, the middle and reversed the thing.

56:43

He kept insisting that it was genuine. He kept insisting that it was genuine.

56:48

Even if I found out later, that I was the third judge in a row, and three years in a row to tell him that it was a fake.

56:54

He died recently and his estate was given to a dealer to sell.

57:03

And the dealer sends me an email, and he says, do you know about this inverted Seaway fake?

57:10

Yes

57:12

But he still till the day he died, still had his sheet saying it was a genuine one.

57:16

Well, thank you very much.

About Charles Verge

Charles Verge headshot

Historian Charles Verge, is past-president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, curator of the Canadian National Stamp Collection, a prolific writer, exhibitor, and judge. He has written three books and over 200 articles related to philately in newspapers, specialized magazines, and general publications. He is a member of many local, national, and international philatelic organizations. Verge has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his philatelic achievements