- Category: Stamps & a bit of history
- Published: Tuesday, 05 April 2016 15:21
- Written by Catpaw
- Hits: 1461
Buckle up stamp fans, time for another foray into my favourite area - Canadian history and airmail.
If you are an airmail collector, you should look at Canada’s fascinating semi-official airmail history. Semi-officials were a branch of airmail stamps, issued by individual airlines. Canada Post sanctioned the private printing, allowing airlines to collect fees for delivering mail, usually to remote bush areas like the northern mining communities. Although the stamps were supposed to be affixed to the back of a cover, they often snuck onto the front, proudly displayed beside regular postage.
It’s a rich history to explore for airmail and pioneer aviation fans alike. If you happen to be a history buff, well bonus all around! A couple of sources will help you explore semis – van Dam’s catalogue and website are treasure troves of information. van Dam is also one of the most reliable sources around for purchasing semi-officials. You can pick up copies of Unity Canada and Sanabria Airmail catalogues for pricing and a bit of information about the flights. Sanabria is harder to find, but copies occasionally pop up on eBay. But the best book is The Pioneer and Semi-Official Air Stamps of Canada 1918-1934 by Longworth-Dames. Semi-officials are ignored by Scotts and Gibbons general catalogues, though they might be in one of their speciality catalogues. If you are serious about semi-officials, you need van Dam and Longworth-Dames, although I do wish van Dam sorted their dreadfully dated website out. I bang my head on the keyboard everytime I use it.Add a comment