Showcasing the Landscapes of Canada - on her Stamps

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Uppercanadian
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Showcasing the Landscapes of Canada - on her Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

.
There are not a lot of things that Canadians agree on with one exception; the splendor of our vast wilderness.

But it is not only Canadians that think this way. The number one reason tourists from around the world visit Canada is to take advantage of the fabulous outdoors— and there's a lot of it. Canada is the second largest country in the world (9.98 million square kilometres), but its population is relatively small (about 38 million in 2021).

That is a population density of 4 people per square kilometre. Considering that 80% of the population live within 100 km of the border with the United States, that leaves massive swaths of land almost completely unoccupied.

So I figured I would go through the Unitrade stamp catalogue, and highlight the landscape issues of Canada.

Despite the fact that Canada's first stamp was issued in 1851, the first stamp issued with a natural landscape on it was the 10-Cent Mount Hurd, issued in 1928.

It was part of what was originally known as "The Dominion Issue" but over time has come to be known as the King George V "Scroll" Issue" due to the fact that the word "CANADA" is printed on each stamp in the series on a scroll across the top of the stamp.

Scott# 155
Scott# 155


This series of stamps was designed by and conceived by Herman Herbert Schwartz. The stamp itself was engraved by Robert Savage of the Canadian Bank Note Company, Ltd. It is based on an 1890 painting by Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith entitled A Snow-Clad Monarch of the Rockies.

A Snow-Clad Monarch of the Rockies
A Snow-Clad Monarch of the Rockies


Bell-Smith was from England, but immigrated to Canada in 1866 at the age of 20. He taught art in Toronto. In 1886 Bell-Smith seized the opportunity to paint the Canadian Rockies when the Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), William Cornelius Van Horne, offered free travel passes to several artists who would sketch and paint vistas of the Canadian west.

His landscape work and his advocacy for a Canadian school of art which drew its uniqueness from the use of the Canadian landscape as its subject matter became an inspiration for other artists such as Tom Thompson, Emily Carr, and the members of the Group of Seven (more on these artists later).

The official release of the Mount Hurd stamp was on December 5, 1928. The "Scroll" marks the first time that Canadian stamps were bilingual; note the Postes / Post in the upper corners.

The plates were made of hardened steel chromium which was quite long lasting and resulted in fewer plates having to be made.

1 postage stamp , die proof , steel engraving , green . ;15.8 x 15.0 cm - from Canadian Postal Archives
1 postage stamp , die proof , steel engraving , green . ;15.8 x 15.0 cm - from Canadian Postal Archives


The stamp was printed in sheets of 200 (10 x 20) divided into four panes of 50 stamps each (5 x 10). The imprint was only found at the top centre of each of the four panes.

Plate A-2:  A-1 and A-3 are on my want list
Plate A-2: A-1 and A-3 are on my want list


There were three plates issued - A-1; A-2; & A-3.

721,540 Panes of 50 were issued. It is unknown how many of each plate were printed.

Mount Hurd is located in the Province of British Columbia. Along both sides of the stamp there are totem poles, which were only made by the Pacific Coast First Nations. Mount Hurd is pretty close to the Albertan border which means there would be no real association with that location and totem poles, but I guess they are meant to personify or be evocative of British Columbia.


Mount Hurd from Wikipedia
Mount Hurd from Wikipedia



Mount Hurd was named after Major Marshall Farnham Hurd, a Canadian Pacific Railway Engineer who had explored and surveyed the regions along the Kananaskis River. The mountain is 3000 metres in height, and located in the Rocky Mountains, close to the Albertan border.

Coordinates 51°17′06″N 116°32′11″W

Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars

USED VF - $4.00
MH VF - $30.00
MNH VF - $60.00
MNH VF Plate Block of 6 - $500.00
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

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Excellent! Great background and well presented. Looking forward to more of this Thread. Thank you.
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

The "Scroll" series, of which the previous stamp above, Mount Hurd, was a part, had a very short run for a definitive series - only 1928-1929. As mentioned, the "Scroll" series of definitives were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company Ltd. In 1929, the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) were successful in obtaining the contract for the production of the postage stamps for the (then called) Dominion of Canada. The contract as signed, ran from April 1, 1930 to March 31, 1935. This was the first time the BABN had successfully won a stamp contract from the government since the "Small Queen" issue which ran from 1870-1893.


Our next Landscape Stamp, is the $1.00 Mount Edith Cavell stamp, which was the highest denominate in the King George V "Arch" Issue - named because the lower denomination stamp had "CANADA" encapsulated in a large arch that framed the head of King George V. To my mind, this is only the second "landscape" type of stamp issued by Canada.

Scott # 177
Scott # 177



This stamp was based on a photograph that was provided by Canadian Natural Resources. Truly stunning and majestic as a black and white photo!

from Canadian Postal Archives:  Text on the Item: [verso] Natural Resources Intelligence Service/ Dept. of the Interior/ Mt. Edith Cavell/ Jasper National Park/ Alta. [verso] This photo used / as original for / 1 cent Postage stamp/ Issue of 1930<br />Note(s):  Mounted on board 20 x 25 cm.
from Canadian Postal Archives: Text on the Item: [verso] Natural Resources Intelligence Service/ Dept. of the Interior/ Mt. Edith Cavell/ Jasper National Park/ Alta. [verso] This photo used / as original for / 1 cent Postage stamp/ Issue of 1930
Note(s): Mounted on board 20 x 25 cm.



The stamp designer for this entire set of stamps was Herman Herbert Schwartz. You may remember, he was the same designer for the Mount Hurd stamp above. I can only surmise, but it would appear that he left the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) when they lost the contract with the Post Office and joined the BABN to help design this stamp series. Unfortunately, little is known of Schwartz. There is no entry in the Canadian Online Encyclopedia about him. But from the 1920's to the 1940's, he was Canada's most prolific stamp designer. His greatest work, would also turn out to be Canada's most famous stamp, the 50-Cent Bluenose.

Scott # 158 VF MNH
Scott # 158 VF MNH


Sadly, the old Bluenose does not really fit into the "Landscape" theme here, but it really is an attractive stamp, so please grant me this guilty pleasure!! :D


The working copy of the Mount Edith Cavell stamp was internally approved at the BABN on June 1, 1929. As you can see they used an actual photograph and a mock up of the frame. I would assume that this is the work of Herman Herbert Schwartz.

from Canadian Postal Archives
from Canadian Postal Archives



Then, only a month and a half later, the fully engraved stamp is approved by Pierre-Jean Veniot on July 17, 1929.

from Canadian Postal Archives
from Canadian Postal Archives


Veniot was a New Brunswick born Acadian who was a journalist, typographer, newspaper owner, political organizer, politician, and eventually civil servant. For those of you not terribly familiar with the Acadians, they were descendants of the French who settled in the Maritimes.
During the French and Indian War (the North American theater of the Seven Years' War), British colonial officers suspected that Acadians were aligned with France, after finding some Acadians fighting alongside French troops at Fort Beauséjour. Though most Acadians remained neutral during the war, the British, together with New England legislators and militia, carried out the Great Expulsion (Le Grand Dérangement) of the Acadians between 1755 and 1764. They forcefully deported approximately 11,500 Acadians from the maritime region. Approximately one-third perished from disease and drowning. ( from Wikipedia)



Yes, that is right, another Canadian Cultural Genocide :oops:


Many, including Veniot's family, returned to the Maritimes over the next century.

The Deportation of Acadians by Henri Beau
The Deportation of Acadians by Henri Beau


In his later years, Pierre-Jean Veniot served as postmaster general from 1926 to 1930 in the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Under his direction, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of confederation in 1927, the country issued its first bilingual postage stamps (Scroll series with Mount Hurd stamp). Veniot helped to organize the delivery of mail by air; in 1928, for instance, he inaugurated a connection between Montreal and Toronto


It was not until December 4, 1930, that the $1.00 Mount Edith Cavell stamp was issued. It, along with the 12-Cent, 20-Cent, and 50-Cent stamp, were the last to be issued for this definitive issue.


When the BABN was awarded the stamp contract, they installed special presses to print stamps by a new method, generally called at the time "rotary printing". Specifically, it was the Stickney Press, borrowed on a long term basis from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in the United States. Some of the stamps of this Arch issue were printed by both the "rotary" and the more standard "flat plate" presses. Our $1.00 Mount Edith Cavell stamp though was only printed using the flat plate press.


There was only one plate of this stamp. It was printed in sheets of 200 (10 x 20), these then being cut into four quarters of 50 stamps each (5 x 10). This resulted in two imperforate sides to each pane. Only the Upper Left and Upper Right panes have a plate inscription. So in total, there were only 5610 plate blocks for this issue, most of which would have been broken up over time.


The contract dictated that the BABN would be paid $1.50 for every thousand Mount Edith Cavell stamps printed. In total, 561,000 stamps were issued, which cost the Dominion Government a total of $841.50. Fortunately, there were 15 other stamps in the series.

Plate Block - not mine sadly
Plate Block - not mine sadly



Mount Edith Cavell is located in the Rocky Mountains and in the Athabasca River and Astoria River valleys of Jasper National Park, and is the most prominent peak entirely within Alberta.

from Wikipedia
from Wikipedia



The mountain was named in 1916 for Edith Cavell, a British nurse executed by the Germans during World War I for having helped Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium to the Netherlands, in violation of German military law. It was previously known as Mount Fitzhugh.

Coordinates 52°40′06″N 118°03′24″W

Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars

USED VF - $40.00
MH VF - $300.00
MNH VF - $600.00
MNH VF Plate Block of 6 - $4000.00
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

RevRed+ wrote: 30 Jun 2021 08:06

Excellent! Great background and well presented. Looking forward to more of this Thread. Thank you.
Very kind of you to say Red. Your Irish Postcards has certainly been an inspiration to me!
All the best,
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »




NIAGARA FALLS
The next purely 'Landscape" stamp in chronological order from Canada is Scott # 225 - the Niagara Falls 20-Cent stamp from the King George V "Pictorial" Issue.

Scott # 225
Scott # 225
[/AddSpace]

The "Pictorial" Issue was released on June 1, 1935. As a result of the death of King George on January 20, 1936, the issue was destined for a short existence. Just under two years later, it was replaced by the King George VI "Mufti" issue.


The issue was printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) who had won the contract back from the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) in 1935. Again, our friend Herman Herbert Schwartz was the designer of this engraved set of stamps. I am honestly not sure how this worked. I am assuming that the designer of a set of stamps would work for the printing company, but we have seen Schwartz jump from the CBN to the BABN, and then back to the CBN, all based on who had the contract to print the stamps of the Dominion. Perhaps, he was never an employee of either, but was contract to design the series. Unfortunately, I cannot find any sources that explains this.

King George V &quot;Pictorial&quot; Issue 1935-1937
King George V "Pictorial" Issue 1935-1937
I collect Canadian plate blocks, so I have disposed of most of my MNH Singles unless they are of significance, so in many cases, I don't have the single to show. So in the above case, I have "borrowed" and image from Ebay for illustration purposes



We actually have the name of the engraver for this stamp, Arthur C. Vogel. I cannot find a lot of information on him, but he was the engraver on a number of Canadian stamps as well as some American stock certificates.


die proof , steel engraving , olive-green . ;8.5 x 7.3 cm from the Canadian Postal Archives.
die proof , steel engraving , olive-green . ;8.5 x 7.3 cm from the Canadian Postal Archives.



The set was engraved and printed by the flat bed process. The plates were chromium plated. This stamp was printed in sheets of 200 (10 x 20) and then cut into 4 panes of 50. The imprint can be found on the upper and lower portion of the pane of 50, and is centered on the pane, thereby covering the width of 3 stamps. The plate blocks are priced as blocks of 6 stamps. There are two different plates of this issue. There are two noted shades of this stamp. The common colour is described as Olive Green, while the shade is called Deep Olive Green. The shade is valued at the same price as the common shade.

Lower Plate Block 2
Lower Plate Block 2


This series is significant as it started a trend that continues today with Canadian stamps. The date "1935" was hidden on all of the stamps. In this particular stamp, it can be found on the top of the lower maple leaf in the bunch of leaves in the upper right corner.

Enlargement of section of stamp showing date &quot;1935&quot;
Enlargement of section of stamp showing date "1935"




Of course, Niagara Falls is well known to many, and is one of the largest tourist draws in Canada. It is actually a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States. The largest of the three is Horseshoe Falls, also known as Canadian Falls, which straddles the international border of the two countries. The smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie within the United States. Bridal Veil Falls is separated from Horseshoe Falls by Goat Island and from American Falls by Luna Island, with both islands situated in New York.


Flowing north as part of the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 50 m. During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 (six million cubic feet) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate. Niagara Falls is famed for its beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.


It is about 90 km from my home and we tend to go there at least once a year. Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path over and through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

from Google Maps
from Google Maps


The image in the stamp was taken from the US side of the border, specifically Prospect Point. In the close foreground you can see the American Falls, and further along a sliver of the Bridal Veil Falls, but the centre of the stamp is the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. To the right, is the old Ontario Power Company Generating Station, which was built in 1905 and decommissioned in 1991. A larger plant was built further down the river.


It is difficult to get this exact angle. Either because Schwartz used some artistic license to get the best scene, or perhaps due to the reconstruction of the US-side of the falls in 1969.

American Falls dammed in 1969
American Falls dammed in 1969


For those who don't know the falls well, they are pretty shallow at the very edge. Illustrated well by this man who changed his mind at the last minute about killing himself, and managed to stand at the very edge for two hours, in icy water, as the rescue teams finally managed to get him.

guy.jpg


Sadly, the falls are a huge attraction to those with no fear of risk and needing notoriety; as well as for people with suicidal thoughts. An estimated 5,000 bodies were found at the foot of the falls between 1850 and 2011. On average, between 20 and 30 people die going over the falls each year. The majority of deaths are suicides, and most take place from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Many of these suicides are not publicized by officials.
Mortality rate for the daredevil attempts over the falls is approximately 25%.

Coordinates 43.0799°N 79.0747°W

Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars

USED VF - $1.00
MH VF - $20.00
MNH VF - $30.00
MNH VF Plate Block of 6 - $375.00
All the best,
Brad Fallon - maltonmanor at hotmail dot com
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »




HALIFAX AND VANCOUVER HARBOURS


I am listing these two stamps together, as they come out of the same set of stamps, that being the King George VI "Mufti" issue. The stamps are both harbour entrances, one being Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, on the Atlantic Ocean and Vancouver Harbour, British Columbia, on the Pacific Ocean.

Scott # 242 - Entrance to Halifax Harbour
Scott # 242 - Entrance to Halifax Harbour

Scott # 244 - Entrance to Vancouver Harbour
Scott # 244 - Entrance to Vancouver Harbour


Try and spot the date of "1938" on each of the stamps.


For context, this is the basic full set of stamps.

&quot;Mufti&quot; Issue from Ebay
"Mufti" Issue from Ebay



During 1936, the CBN was busy designing and engraving a new set of stamps for the newly crowned King Edward VIII. They were close to the point of actually printing the stamps Edward abdicated on December 11, 1936. Here is a die proof of what the design was to look like had he kept his throne.

Edward VIII.jpg



So the CBN had to quickly design a new stamp issue. None other than our friend Herman Herbert Schwartz was enlisted to design this series. The low value were issued on April 1, 1937. The higher values were released throughout 1938. Both stamps were printed in sheets of 200 (20 x 10) which were cut into 4 panes of 50 stamps (5 x 10). The imprints and plate numbers for these two stamps appears on the upper and lower corners of each pane. The imprints, for the first time, have the English and French description of the stamp. There is only one plate for both issue - "Canadian Bank Note Co., Ottawa, No. 1"


Issued November 15, 1938
Issued November 15, 1938
13-Cent Halifax Harbour
Picture engraved by William F. Ford
Based on a photograph by Wallace R. MacAskill
Designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz

Issued June 15, 1938
Issued June 15, 1938
50-Cent Vancouver Harbour
Designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz
Based on a photograph by Leonard Frank
Picture engraved by Louis Delnoce
Ornaments engraved by Carroll Maybie
Lettering engraved by John S. Edmondson



Halifax Harbour is one of the greatest deep sea ports in the world. The British strongly relied upon it during the American War for Independence. During both World War I and World War II, Halifax became the staging point for the North Atlantic Convoys. Being a double deep sea port, the Bedford Basin could hold up to 150 ships at anchorage.

Showing Halifax port, and the Bedford Basin anchorage
Showing Halifax port, and the Bedford Basin anchorage

Staging a convoy, April, 1941.
Staging a convoy, April, 1941.

Recent view of the entrance to Halifax Harbour
Recent view of the entrance to Halifax Harbour




The entrance to Vancouver Harbour is called Burrard Inlet, which is protected from the open ocean with calm waters that form Vancouver's primary port area, an excellent one for large ocean-going ships. While some of the shoreline is residential and commercial, much is port-industrial, including railyards, terminals for container and bulk cargo ships, grain elevators, and (towards the eastern end) oil refineries. Freighters waiting to load or discharge cargoes in the inlet often anchor in English Bay, which lies south of the mouth of the inlet and is separated from it by Vancouver's downtown peninsula and Stanley Park.

Vancouver Map.jpg


This design shows the view from West Bay which is just to the north of the red marker. Prospect Point and part of the city appear in the background. This is Canada's western gateway to the Orient and the Pacific. In the distance looms Mount Baker in the State of Washington.

cture.jpg



The picture above is close to where the original was taken. The suspension bridge in the background, known as the Lion's Gate Bridge, was completed in 1938, the same year that the stamp was issued. As it is not on the stamp, it is safe to assume that the original photograph was made many years previously. I spent a fair amount of time trying to locate the original photographs for both of these stamps but was unsuccessful.


Coordinates Halifax Harbour: 44° 52′ 0″ N, 63° 42′ 58″ W
Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars
USED VF - $0.75
MH VF - $20.00
MNH VF - $30.00
MNH VF Plate Block of 4 - $150.00


Coordinates Vancouver Harbour: 49° 17′ 55″ N, 123° 5′ 7″ W
Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars
USED VF - $7.50
MH VF - $50.00
MNH VF - $75.00
MNH VF Plate Block of 4 - $400.00-$560.00 (depending on plate position)
All the best,
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »





GREAT BEAR LAKE



Continuing our run through Canada's "landscape" issues, we come to 1946. A time where a devastated and weary world wanted to forget the previous 6 years of war. The high-value stamps at this time, was the "War Series" that had been issued in 1942-43.

&quot;War Issue&quot; - Issued 1942-43 (Scott # 257-262
"War Issue" - Issued 1942-43 (Scott # 257-262


Understandably, in early 1946, the Post Office Department asked the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) to design a new series of high-value pictorial definitives with a less bellicose nature. The postal authorities asked for a set that would survey Canada's primary industries and raw materials. The issue placed emphasis on the reconversion of Canadian industry to a peacetime basis. The entire series was released on September 16, 1946. Interestingly, the series was first called the "Victory Issue" as referenced in L.Seale Holmes', "Specialized Philatelic Catalogue of Canada and British North America" (8th Edition 1954). By the 1960's, the name "Peace Issue", seems to have been adopted, and remains the standard name to this day.

&quot;Peace&quot; Issue - Scott # 268-273 (sorry, I only have the Plate Block of the 50-Cent)
"Peace" Issue - Scott # 268-273 (sorry, I only have the Plate Block of the 50-Cent)


The 10-Cent stamp always stood out in this series because unlike the other stamps, it did not portray any industry. It shows a view of Great Bear Lake, in the Northwest Territories.

Scott # 268
Scott # 268


Most collectors in Canada, including myself, have always assumed that this was a landscape stamp. Unitrade Catalogue, simply titles it "Great Bear Lake". In actual fact, the view is of the location where prospectors had discovered pitchblende deposits. More on this later.


The series was again designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz. This particular stamp, as well as the 20-cent Combine, was engraved by Silas Robert Allen who was born in Ottawa in 1888. He started working for the Canadian Bank Note Company where he was trained in engraving by Charles Copeland and George F C Smillie. He was a prolific stamp engraver in Canada throughout the 1940's and 1950's. He died in an automobile accident in 1958 which allowed Yves Baril become the chief engraver at the CBN.


The stamps were all produced in the usual manner for stamps of the larger size. They were printed from 200 subject plates and the resultant sheets were cut into 4 post office panes of 50 stamps each. The imprints were arranged in the usual manner in each of the four corners of the large sheets. Both the Plate Number and the Printing Order Number appeared at the side with a description of the stamp design, in English and French, accompanied by the usual "CANADIAN BANK NOTE CO. LIMITED, OTTAWA. No. _" appearing upright above or below the appropriate corner stamps. Two plates was required for the 10-Cent stamp. A hidden date can be found on the stamp.

A proof from May, 1946 with some corrections required - from Canadian Postal Archives
A proof from May, 1946 with some corrections required - from Canadian Postal Archives

A June Colour Trial  - from Canadian Postal Archives
A June Colour Trial - from Canadian Postal Archives

Final Proof &amp; Colour - June 14, 1946 - from Canadian Postal Archives
Final Proof & Colour - June 14, 1946 - from Canadian Postal Archives


A hidden date can be found on the stamp.

Enlargement of date (1946)
Enlargement of date (1946)




Two plates was required for the 10-Cent stamp.

Plate 1  - Note cutting guideline on left edge of selvedge
Plate 1 - Note cutting guideline on left edge of selvedge

Plate 2 with Product Order Number &quot;892-B&quot;.  Also with Cutting Guideline on left selvedge and a Dot Guide in corner.
Plate 2 with Product Order Number "892-B". Also with Cutting Guideline on left selvedge and a Dot Guide in corner.


The following is selectively pulled from Wikipedia, then edited by myself.
Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories is the largest lake entirely in Canada (Lake Superior and Lake Huron are larger but straddle the Canada–US border), the fourth-largest in North America, and the eighth-largest in the world. The name originated from the Chipewyan language word satudene, meaning "grizzly bear water people." The Sahtu, a Dene people, are named after the lake.


Pictured in this stamp, is a view on the far eastern shore of the lake. On May 16, 1930, prospector Gilbert LaBine discovered high-grade pitchblende and silver at this site. The mine was called Eldorado, but the town the grew up around it become known as Port Radium.

Eldorado Site taken 1932 - from archived Government of Canada website.
Eldorado Site taken 1932 - from archived Government of Canada website.
I think it is a good bet that the stamp was based on this picture.
I think it is a good bet that the stamp was based on this picture.
Eldorado started off as a radium mine in 1932, extracting radium from pitchblende. The first concentration plant was a big erection at the site by Allis-Chalmers of Canada in 1933–1934, with a radium refinery built at Port Hope, Ontario.

Port Radium, 1956
Port Radium, 1956


Concentrates and cobbed material were shipped by barge and then later by airplane to the rail head at Fort McMurray, Alberta, and then by train to Port Hope. A journey of almost 5000 km.

Port Hope's West Beach and Eldorado Nuclear in the foreground - taken 1940. Clearly, people were not terribly aware of the dangers of radiation in 1940.
Port Hope's West Beach and Eldorado Nuclear in the foreground - taken 1940. Clearly, people were not terribly aware of the dangers of radiation in 1940.


Eldorado built a state of the art uranium refinery at Port Hope, on Lake Ontario, about 60 km away from Toronto. Eldorado was able to secure a contract with the United States military early in 1942 which resulted in the Canadian government secretly expropriating the company and transferring it to the Canadian Government in 1943-1944. It was renamed Eldorado Mining and Refining Limited. Uranium ore from the mine was used in the Manhattan Project which ultimately led to the dropping of Little Boy on Hiroshima and Fat Boy on Nagasaki.

Little Boy casing - Hiroshima 6 August 1945
Little Boy casing - Hiroshima 6 August 1945


Uranium mining continued after World War II but by 1960 the original Eldorado Mine was exhausted and closed. It opened again briefly, but closed permanently in 1982. Eldorado Mine and the Port Radium settlement was burned and demolished. Today, nothing is left but a few scars on the earth. The whole area was cleaned up of radiation by 2007.

Port Radium today - back to nature
Port Radium today - back to nature


On a personal note, I lived in Port Hope for 4 years as a teenager. At that time, most of the uranium being refined in Port Hope was from Saskatchewan. It was at this time that the town's people began to be concerned about the radiation. Eventually, over the next few decades, it was revealed that Port Hope had the largest volume of historic low-level radioactive wastes in Canada.

There were small dump sites all over the town. Finally, in 2010, the Federal Government invest over a billion dollars for the soil remediation project of the brownfields, which turned out to be the largest such cleanup in Canadian history. It continues today, and is expected to be completed by 2023. But they still refine uranium there.

Cameco Corporation (formerly Canadian Mining and Energy Corporation) is the world's largest publicly traded uranium company, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2015, it was the world's second largest uranium producer, accounting for 18% of world production.

Cameco.jpg



Coordinates Port Radium: 66° 5′ 6.61″ N, 118° 2′ 9.6″ W
Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars
USED VF - $0.25
MNH VF - $4.50
MNH VF Plate Block of 4 - $15.75
All the best,
Brad Fallon - maltonmanor at hotmail dot com
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »


ALASKA HIGHWAY


My apologies for the hiatus; work has been crazy lately.

For the next landscape stamp, we have to race ahead from the Great Bear Lake issue, 21 years where there are a number of issues that were put out in 1967 as part of the "Centennial Issue". The year 1967 marked the 100th anniversary of the Confederation which became known as the Dominion of Canada, when the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) merged with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Over the years, more colonies would join until the last, Newfoundland, joined the Canadian Confederation in 1949.

The year 1967 also saw Montreal hold the World's Fair, called Expo '67. It was a sort of magical time in Canada and people my age often look back on that year as something very special. As a collector of Canadian stamps, the "Centennial" issue, also offers some of the widest areas of study, as there was two printers, many different papers, formats, gum, perforations, tagging and errors over the 6 year span of the issue.


THE DESIGN


First of all, here is the basic Centennial set of stamps. I will only be focusing though on some of the higher values that I consider true landscapes.

Centennial Series.jpg


Here is a close up of the 8-Cent Alaska Highway stamp. It was first issued on February 8, 1967.

Scott # 461
Scott # 461


It is from an original piece of art by Alexander Young Jackson, who is better known as simply A.Y. Jackson. He was a founding member of the "Group of Seven". He made a significant contribution to the development of art in Canada, and was successful in bringing together the artists of Montreal and Toronto. He exhibited with the Group of Seven from 1920. In addition to his work with the Group of Seven, his long career included serving as a War Artist during World War I (1917–19) and teaching at the Banff School of Fine Arts, from 1943 to 1949. In his later years he was artist-in-residence at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.

&quot;Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Nelson&quot; (1943)<br />Oil on wood<br />from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
"Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Nelson" (1943)
Oil on wood
from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

Jackson at work in Studio Building in Toronto, 1944 from Wikipedia
Jackson at work in Studio Building in Toronto, 1944 from Wikipedia


THE GROUP OF SEVEN


It is at this juncture, that I have to explain about the "Group of Seven". Here, in the interest of brevity and accuracy, I rely upon an introduction by Wikipedia.

The Group of Seven, also sometimes known as the Algonquin School, was a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932), and Frederick Varley (1881–1969). Later, A. J. Casson (1898–1992) was invited to join in 1926, Edwin Holgate (1892–1977) became a member in 1930, and LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) joined in 1932.


Two artists commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson (1877–1917) and Emily Carr (1871–1945). Although he died before its official formation, Thomson had a significant influence on the group. In his essay "The Story of the Group of Seven", Harris wrote that Thomson was "a part of the movement before we pinned a label on it"; Thomson's paintings The West Wind and The Jack Pine are two of the group's most iconic pieces. Emily Carr was also associated with the Group of Seven, though never an official member.


Believing that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature, the Group of Seven is best known for its paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape, and initiated the first major Canadian national art movement. The Group was succeeded by the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933, which included members from the Beaver Hall Group who had a history of showing with the Group of Seven internationally.


CANADIAN NATIONALISM


I cannot stress enough the importance of these painters to Canada. I think my friends in Australia and New Zealand will understand the importance during the 20th Century for our countries to find some sort of identity for nationalistic purposes. For Canada, this has been a challenging exercise due to the fact that we share the longest border in the world with most predominant English-speaking country, the United States, whose culture is perhaps its greatest and most influential and successful export.

The Group of Seven are regarded as the forerunners of a national Canadian artistic identity. Their focus on the Canadian landscape and their style of painting drew both national and international attention. They are often regarded as an integral part of the emerging nationality Canada developed in the twentieth century. They were not the first nationalists, but they were “the first to make artists and public listen and observe.” That consciousness of being national painters, boosted by the growing public awareness of Canadian distinctiveness, in addition to the many subsequent artists who were influenced by their work make the Group of Seven iconic.

This is the first series of stamps to showcase some of the painters of the Group of Seven, but it is not the last. Time and time again, Canada Post will put issue stamps with their paintings on them. I expect, over time, I will have all of them here on this thread. I hope you learn to appreciate and enjoy their work as much as I do. They are a large part of the inspiration I had for starting this thread.


STAMP PRODUCTION


As mentioned above, this stamp was issued on February 8, 1967, which is the same date of issue of most of the stamps in the series. Based on a painting by A.Y.Jackson, the picture was engraved by Allan Alexander Carswell, while the lettering was engraved by Gordon Mash. It was printed exclusively by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN).

It was printed in sheets of 300 stamps (15 columns x 20 rows), then cut down into six sheets of 50 stamps (5 columns x 10 rows). The inscription was only found on the four corners of the sheet. So the inscription was missing on the two middle panes, and the other four panes only had one inscription. So for every 300 stamps printed, there would only be 4 corner plate blocks. Two plates were used for this issue.

Plate 1 - Violet Brown shade
Plate 1 - Violet Brown shade

Plate 2 - Dull Reddish Brown shade
Plate 2 - Dull Reddish Brown shade


All stamp designs were approved for this series in 1966. Below, an approved die proof dated May 30th.

from Canadian Postal Archives
from Canadian Postal Archives


INNOVATIONS IN PRINTING


The period of time during this issue (1967-1974) saw a lot of new innovations in printing, tagging, and even gum. One of these innovations was the use of plastic moulds in the process of producing the flat plate.

1) The engraver, in the case of this stamp, Allan Alexander Carswell would engrave the original die, with the design lines cut below the surface.

2) The design is transferred from the die to a transfer roll. Now the lines of the design are above the surface.

3) The design is now transferred to a flat, soft steel Master Plate. But this plate is not the full plate. In fact, it is the size of a pane, that being 50 stamps in the case of the 8-Cent stamp. So the design lines on the Master Plate are below the surface.

4) In the next, several plastic moulds were made from the Master Plate. The stamp's design lines are now raised above the surface. The plastic moulds were then combined into the full printing plate 6 panes or 300 stamps, and welded together to form the full plate.

5) The full plastic plate is then coated with a silver solution, and dipped into an electroplating bath where it receives a 3/32-inch nickel coating. It is this nickel coating that becomes the actual printing plate and the design lines of the stamp are below the surface

6) The final stage was to coat the nickel plate with chromium for strength and then bend the plates to form a semi-circular shape to fit the rotary presses.

The reason for this new Plastic Mould innovation was that it was simply cheaper and faster to create the final printing plate by this method.


At this point, you may have wondered why I have gone into this sort of detail. There is an error variety in this 8- Cent stamp, as well as a few others in the series that are called PLASTIC FLOW varieties. Essentially, it is the doubling of certain parts of the design of the stamp. It is my understanding that Australian stamp collectors are familiar with this type of variety as apparently an A.A. Rosenblum reported a similar situation with some Australian stamps.

Unfortunately, I do not have a good example of this error on the 8-Cent stamp, but I do have a good example of the Plastic Flow on the 15-Cent stamp. Most often it is easiest to spot around the numeral on the stamp. This error has been attributed to the plastic mould stage of the production, but the exact cause remains a mystery. None of the proofs show any evidence of the doubling, so it is assumed that it is a progressive flaw, perhaps plate wear, which may or may not have anything to do with the plastic mould stage.

Normal stamp on left; Plastic Flow variety on the Right.
Normal stamp on left; Plastic Flow variety on the Right.


You can see the error along the left side of the "1" and "5" where it appears to be doubling the outline of the numbers.


The 8-Cent stamp is the most consistent stamp in this series. There were no gum changes or any tagging added to it. The only varieties has to do with the fluorescent shade of the paper, which can fall within No Fluorescence, No Fluorescence but fluorescent fibres, Dull Fluorescence, and High Fluorescence, which we usually call Hi Brite (HB) here in Canada.

Range of Fluorescence in Sc# 461
Range of Fluorescence in Sc# 461


Although not listed in the Unitrade Catalogue, there are two distinct shades to this stamp, one being the Violet Brown, the other being a Dull Reddish Brown. You should be able to see the difference in shades on the two plate blocks further up in this post.


WHAT IS THE ALASKA HIGHWAY


The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II to connect the contiguous United States to Alaska across Canada. Until its construction, the only way into Alaska was by ship or aircraft. Connecting Alaska to the rest of the rest of the USA was never a priority until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought America into the Second World War in 1941.

It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. When it was completed in 1942, it was about 2,700 km long, but has since shrunk to 2,232 km due to the continuing reconstruction of the highway, which has rerouted and straightened many sections.

The highway opened to the public in 1948. Once legendary for being a rough, challenging drive, the highway is now paved over its entire length. Its component highways are British Columbia Highway 97, Yukon Highway 1 and Alaska Route 2.


from Google Maps
from Google Maps


The above is the approximate location of where A.Y. Jackson did his sketch. The current Alaska Highway was rerouted from this area and the new road is called the Haines Highway. This is about 10 km south of Haines Junction. The mountains are Archibald and Cairnes, which are part of the Kluane Ranges of the Saint Elias Mountains in Yukon Territory.

In 1942, the National Gallery of Canada commissioned Alberta artist, H.G. Glyde, and A.Y. Jackson to document the Alaska Highway’s construction. Over a three-week period in October of 1943, they produced numerous pencil and oil sketches of the personnel, equipment, land clearing and construction of the Highway. Fortunately, A.Y. was an accomplished camper and canoeist, and had no problem with the hard living conditions during his stay.

Building 1.jpg


It was a rugged territory, and a quick completion was the goal. At the cost of $140 million, 7,000 pieces of machinery and 11,000 workers, the highway consisted of 133 major bridges and 8,000 culverts. The construction of the Alaska Highway also opened the door for economic and cultural reform both in Canada and the U.S.

At the time U.S. military policy denied African American soldiers active duty, which meant many of them were assigned to work on the Highway. Of the 11,000 workers, three regiments consisting of 3,695 workers were of African heritage. Due to their efforts and dedication, many were decorated for their perseverance, and as a result, African-American soldiers were granted active duty and integrated into the American war effort.

Building 2.jpg


Personnel were not limited only to the military. Determining the path of the Highway and supporting the construction endeavour were more than 16,000 civilians: local trappers, prospectors and First Nations peoples who knew the way in to this “unexplored” terrain.

Building 3.jpg


In the end, the Highway opened the northern regions of Canada and America to industrial development and natural resource extraction − a legacy that has had both positive and negative impacts on Canada’s northern communities.

Today, the region that the highway runs through is sparsely populated. Yukon Territory is about the size of Spain, but has a population of about 40,000 people. That may explain why to this day, you can still find a lot of artifacts from when the highway was being built in 1942.

Just outside Beaver Creek, Yukon.  Construction vehicles from 1942.
Just outside Beaver Creek, Yukon. Construction vehicles from 1942.



Coordinates approximately: 60°39'10.4"N 137°20'10.3"W
Scott # 461
Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars
USED VF - $0.20
MNH VF - $0.35
MNH VF Plate Block of 4:
$5.00 Dull Paper
$25.00 No Fluorescent Paper
$175.00 Hi Brite Paper (never issued with plate inscriptions)
$300.00 Plastic Flow variety
All the best,
Brad Fallon - maltonmanor at hotmail dot com
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

Before I move on, I wanted to make a clarification about the plastic moulds. Perhaps, I did not make it very clear that it was the use of plastic moulds in the process of producing the plates, that was a new innovation for this stamp series. Previously, the Final Printing Plate would have been made by making multiple metal copies of the Master Plate.

In addition, I forgot to post a picture of the "hidden date", which can be found reading across on the right edge of the highway at the bottom of the design.

8 cent date.jpg
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »



THE JACK PINE



The next Landscape Stamp of Canada is from the same "Centennial Series", so I will be building on what has already been post above in reference to this stamp series, its various varieties, and the impact of landscape art on Canadians.


THE 10-CENT JACK PINE


The 10-Cent Jack Pine was issued on the same day as the 8-Cent Alaska Highway, that being February 8, 1967. It is based on a painting by by Tom Thomson.

Scott #462
Scott #462


THE PAINTING AND THE ARTIST


Thomas John Thomson was born in Claremont, Ontario on August 5, 1877. Today it is a suburb of Toronto, but back then it was very rural. During his short career he produced roughly 400 oil sketches on small wood panels along with around 50 larger works on canvas. His works consist almost entirely of landscapes depicting trees, skies, lakes, and rivers. His paintings use broad brush strokes and a liberal application of paint to capture the beauty and colour of the Ontario landscape. Thomson's accidental death at the age of 39 by drowning came shortly before the founding of the Group of Seven and is seen as a tragedy for Canadian art.

The Jack Pine - Tom Thomson - from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
The Jack Pine - Tom Thomson - from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario


At the turn of the 20th century, he was employed in Toronto as a pen artist at several different photoengraving firms. There he met those who eventually formed the Group of Seven, including J. E. H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, Frederick Varley, Franklin Carmichael and Arthur Lismer. In May 1912, he visited Algonquin Park—a major public park and forest reservation in Central Ontario—for the first time. It was there that he acquired his first sketching equipment and, following MacDonald's advice, began to capture nature scenes. He became enraptured with the area and repeatedly returned, typically spending his winters in Toronto and the rest of the year in the Park. His earliest paintings were not outstanding technically, but showed a good grasp of composition and colour handling. His later paintings vary in composition and contain vivid colours and thickly applied paint. His later work has had a great influence on Canadian art—paintings such as The Jack Pine and The West Wind have taken a prominent place in the culture of Canada and are some of the country's most iconic works.

West Wind - Tom Thomson - Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
West Wind - Tom Thomson - Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto


There is some controversy over his death. On July 8, 1917, Thomson disappeared during a canoeing trip on Canoe Lake which is in Algonquin Park. His upturned canoe was spotted later in the afternoon, and his body was discovered in the lake eight days later. It was noted that he had a four-inch cut on his right temple and had bled from his right ear. The cause of death was officially determined to be "accidental drowning". In September 1917, J. E. H. MacDonald and John William Beatty erected a memorial cairn at Hayhurst Point on Canoe Lake, to honour Thomson where he died.

There has been much speculation about the circumstances of Thomson's death, including that he was murdered or committed suicide. Though these ideas lack substance, they have continued to persist in the popular culture.
All the best,
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Rigs »

.
Fascinating reading, and the secret date for the 10c?
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by joelk »

This is a truly magnificent thread, Brad! Thank you so much. 😊😊😊👏


Cheers,
Joel.
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

My apologies, I had some computer issues so I submitted the above 10-Cent message incomplete. I tried to edit it, but I ran out of time. I will continue with the 10-Cent issue now.
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »


THE JACK PINE (Continued)
STAMP PRODUCTION

Like the 8- Cent, the 10-Cent Jack Pine was printed exclusively by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN). Likewise, it was printed in sheets of 300 stamps (15 columns x 20 rows), then cut down into six sheets of 50 stamps (5 columns x 10 rows). The inscription was only found on the four corners of the sheet. So the inscription was missing on the two middle panes, and the other four panes only had one inscription. So for every 300 stamps printed, there would only be 4 corner plate blocks. In the 10-Cent case, three plates were used.


The first two plates were issued on February 8, 1967. The third plate was issued in March of 1972.

Plate 1 - Dextrine Gum
Plate 1 - Dextrine Gum

Plate 2 - Dextrine Gum
Plate 2 - Dextrine Gum

Plate 3 - Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) Gum
Plate 3 - Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) Gum


Here is the hidden date
hidden date.jpg


STAMP GUM


Starting in 1971, CBN abandoned the natural dextrine gum (Dex) and moved toward a polyvinyl alcohol/polyvinyl acetate (PVA) type gum. It took a while for them to come up with the perfect formula so some stamps being printed in 1971-1972 can have some hybrid type gums.

Dextrine.....Dextrine Streaky....PVA
Dextrine.....Dextrine Streaky....PVA

Close up of Dextrine Smooth on left and Dextrine Streaky on right.
Close up of Dextrine Smooth on left and Dextrine Streaky on right.


It was rather difficult to get a good scan or photo of the streaky dextrine gum. Basically, they are small oblong areas that do not have gum, which gives it a streaky look. Very easy to identify when they are in your hand and you can tilt them so a light source hits them just the right way.

Picture taken by Chris McFetridge of Brixton Chrome Stamps (brixtonchrome.com)
Picture taken by Chris McFetridge of Brixton Chrome Stamps (brixtonchrome.com)


I have taken the liberty of posting a picture from Chris and his excellent blog. I think this is a pretty good picture of the Streaky Dextrine.


TAGGING


There is no tagging on any of the Plate Numbered sheets. But keep in mind, the majority of the stamps printed did not have plate inscriptions on them. The inscriptions and plate numbers were provided predominantly due to the demands of collectors. But normally, when they cut the 50 stamp panes from the sheet, they would also slice off most of the selvedge of the pane so it was easier to handle and could fit into the stamp drawers at the post offices more easily. This is what in Canada we refer to as "Field Stock".

Two types of tagging can be found on the field stock of the 10-Cent Jack Pine. The earliest date for the tagging of this stamp is December 9, 1969, where a "Winnipeg 2-Bar" (W2B) Phosphorescent tag was printed on the stamp. Keep in mind, phosphorescence is the after-glow when the ink has been exposed to ultraviolet light. On this particular stamp, the W2B was printed on stamps with both Dextrine and PVA Gum stamp.

W2B Tagging seen under 365nm Long Wave Ultraviolet Light
W2B Tagging seen under 365nm Long Wave Ultraviolet Light

One Second after the Ultraviolet Source is turned off, the tagging continues to glow.
One Second after the Ultraviolet Source is turned off, the tagging continues to glow.


In addition, the W2B tagged stamps were printed on paper with varying levels of overall fluorescence.

From bottom to top, Dull Fluorescence; Medium Fluorescence; High Fluorescence - all stamps have W2B Tagging
From bottom to top, Dull Fluorescence; Medium Fluorescence; High Fluorescence - all stamps have W2B Tagging


Sometime in January of 1972, stamps began appearing with the new tagging known as General Tagging. Unlike the Winnipeg Tagging the was Phosphorescent, the General Tagging is fluorescent and glows only when exposed to ultraviolet light. The advantage over the Winnipeg Tagging was that it glowed much brighter and was easier for the machines to pick them up.

General Tag - GT2 on a High Fluorescent Paper stamp
General Tag - GT2 on a High Fluorescent Paper stamp



ALGONQUIN PARK

Tom Thomson was inspired by Algonquin Park and spent much of his short life there. It is a provincial park located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada. Established in 1893, it is the oldest provincial park in Canada. It is 7,653 square kilometres which makes it about the size of the Czech Republic.

Its size, combined with its proximity to the major urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa, makes Algonquin one of the most popular provincial parks in Canada. There are over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of streams and rivers in the park. These were formed by the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age. The park is considered part of the "border" between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario. The park is in an area of transition between northern coniferous forest and southern deciduous forest. This unique mixture of forest types, and the wide variety of environments in the park, allows the park to support an uncommon diversity of plant and animal species. It is also an important site for wildlife research.

Algonquin Park was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992 in recognition of several heritage values including: its role in the development of park management; pioneering visitor interpretation programs later adopted by national and provincial parks across the country; its role in inspiring artists, which in turn gave Canadians a greater sense of their country; and historic structures such as lodges, hotels, cottages, camps, entrance gates, a railway station, and administration and museum buildings. Algonquin Park is the only designated park within the province of Ontario to allow industrial logging to take place within its borders.

On a personal note, Algonquin is special to me. I have visited the park almost every summer of the last 50 years. I used to go into the "back country" by foot and canoe, although these days I just pitch a tent with the family in a campground and do hiking. It is a special place though. So I will end this entry with some personal pictures I have taken over the years in Algonquin.

Me, somewhere in the back country of Algonquin circa 1982
Me, somewhere in the back country of Algonquin circa 1982

Canoeing Lake of Two Rivers with my daughters in 2014.
Canoeing Lake of Two Rivers with my daughters in 2014.

My family, and my best friends family at the Tom Thomson Cairn, Canoe Lake, 2014.
My family, and my best friends family at the Tom Thomson Cairn, Canoe Lake, 2014.

Algonquin Central Highlands - 2016
Algonquin Central Highlands - 2016

Rock Lake on the Booth Trail a rainy day - 2017
Rock Lake on the Booth Trail a rainy day - 2017


Coordinates approximately: 45° 35′ 3″ N, 78° 21′ 30″ W
Scott # 462
Based on the Unitrade Catalogue 2019 in Canadian Dollars
USED VF - $0.20
MNH VF - $0.35
MNH VF - $2.00 - W2B Tagging
MNH VF - $1.00 - GT2 Tagging

MNH VF Plate Block of 4:
$2.75 Dull Paper
All the best,
Brad Fallon - maltonmanor at hotmail dot com
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Re: Landscapes of Canada in Stamps

Post by Global Administrator »

The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II to connect the contiguous United States to Alaska across Canada. Until its construction, the only way into Alaska was by ship or aircraft. Connecting Alaska to the rest of the rest of the USA was never a priority until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought America into the Second World War in 1941.

It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon. When it was completed in 1942, it was about 2,700 km long, but has since shrunk to 2,232 km due to the continuing reconstruction of the highway, which has rerouted and straightened many sections.

It was a rugged territory, and a quick completion was the goal. At the cost of $140 million, 7,000 pieces of machinery and 11,000 workers, the highway consisted of 133 major bridges and 8,000 culverts. The construction of the Alaska Highway also opened the door for economic and cultural reform both in Canada and the U.S.

At the time U.S. military policy denied African American soldiers active duty, which meant many of them were assigned to work on the Highway. Of the 11,000 workers, three regiments consisting of 3,695 workers were of African heritage.

Due to their efforts and dedication, many were decorated for their perseverance, and as a result, African-American soldiers were granted active duty and integrated into the American war effort.

Image




A great new thread Brad, with fabulous history sidelines and brilliantly laid out and paced neatly. :lol:

Had no idea that was US Army policy so late into the war.

We visited Whitehorse, Yukon a few years back and the highway there is quite superb. Were told by locals the USA heavily funds most maintenance so as to always have a super highway to the lower 48, in case of Russian belligerence etc, needing rapid Military access. :mrgreen:

Glen
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Re: Showcasing the Landscapes of Canada - on her Stamps

Post by Uppercanadian »

Thank you so much Glen, Joel, and Rigs. I really appreciate your kind comments. I have always enjoyed the stories behind the stamp subjects, almost as much as I enjoy the stamps themselves.

Making it to Yukon is really off the beaten path Glen. You and Margo are certainly the most well travelled globe trotters I have ever known.
All the best,
Brad Fallon - maltonmanor at hotmail dot com
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