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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The 1942-48 War Effort Issue Part Two

Today's post will explore two more complex aspects of this much under-rated issue: the booklets & booklet panes, and the coil stamps.

Coil Stamps



This is the only issue of Canada to have coil stamps in two different perforations: 8.5 and 9.5 vertically. The original issue that appeared between 1942 and 1943, was perforated 8.5, and was generally printed on softer paper. Later in 1948, the coils were reprinted on a thicker, stiffer paper and were perforated 9.5 instead of the 8.5. The difference is marked enough that with experience, you will be able to distinguish them from one another without having to measure the perforations. The scan above shows the two different perforations, with 8.5 on the left, and 9.5 on the right. As you can see, this difference of one hole, makes a large difference to the appearance of the stamps. In general, the perf. 8.5 coils tend to have holes that are often not fully punched, and are widely spaced, giving perforations that are much wider, and consequently much harder to find with fully intact and even perforations. The later perf. 9.5 coils have holes that are punched much more cleanly, and are spaced closer together.

 It is worth noting that the 3c carmine is only found in the perf. 8.5, as this colour was superseded in 1943, long before perf. 9.5 stamps appeared.

However, there are several ways that these can be collected:
  • Jump strips exist for all three values. 
  • Wide and narrow spacing strips can be found for all values. 
  • Cutting guideline strips can also be found, though these are rare. 
  • Repair paste-up pairs or strips can be found for all values. 
  • Start and end strips of 4, plus 10 blank tabs exist for all three values. The strips that contain four stamps with 10 blanks are premium items and are much scarcer than the strips of 4, which consist of two stamps and two tabs. 
  • Shade, paper and gum variations are also possible. 
  • The 1c coils in both perforations exist pre-cancelled, with three sets of parallel, horizontal bars. 
  • The 3c claret perf. 9.5 coil has been reported in a strip of 4, that is partially imperforate vertically, so that the bottom 1 or 2 perforation holes are missing. 
Some of these are illustrated in the scans below:



The above scan shows a typical jump strip. The jump in this case occurs between the left stamp, and the other three stamps. If you look carefully at the width of the top and bottom margins on the strip, you will see that it is different above and below the left stamp, as compared with the rest of the strip. The difference is small enough that if you are not paying attention, you will miss it. However, once you know what to look for, the difference becomes quite easy to spot.

Jumps occur periodically on all coils printed by the CBN. The reason has to do with the way the coils are printed. My understanding of this process is that the plates of 100 had to wrapped around a steel drum into the printing cylinders of 100 stamps that printed the sheets, which were then cut into strips. My understanding is that these strips were normally 500 stamps and the repair paste-ups only occur when a strip came apart accidentally. Thus, to produce a strip of 500 stamps, the printing drum would have to complete 5 revolutions. Each time it completes a revolution it can meet the paper web in a slightly different position for the next revolution. This is how the jumps occur. Also, there can be a noticeable difference in the spacing between stamp impressions where the jump occurs. However, these differences do not occur on some of the jump strips. In addition, to this, there is often a fluctuation in pressure where the drum completes a revolution, which can result in a lightening, or a deepening of the impression at the spot of the jump, or the spot where the next revolution starts, where this is not accompanied by a jump.



This next scan shows one of the typical spacing varieties that can be found on the coil stamps. Here, the difference can be seen between the right stamp and the other stamps. The horizontal space here is 4.5 mm compared to the normal 4 mm or 4.25 mm. I'm not sure what the cause of these spacing varieties are, as there appears to be no jump. They could be the result of the printing drum completing a revolution and starting the next one at a slightly greater distance, or they could be the result of actual differences in spacing between impressions on the drum.




This strip shows another spacing variety, with a very, very slight jump visible between the middle stamps. Again, the space is 4.5 mm compared to the normal 4 mm, in between the two right hand stamps, or 4.25 mm between the two left hand stamps. In addition, if you look carefully, you can also see a difference in shade between the two left hand, and two right hand stamps. The stamps on the right are both deeper and brighter than the ones on the left, while the left frame of the second stamp from the right appears a little blurry and over-inked. This is a recurring type of variety that occurs on many of the coil issues, and is responsible for creating many of the constant varieties on the later issues, such as the damaged corner on the 2c Postes-Postage issue, and the damaged "E" on the Wilding Issue. The difference in shade and the varieties result from a difference in pressure between the printing cylinder and the paper, with the pressure on the right stamps being greater than the stamps on the left.


There are also several shade varieties that can be found on the coil stamps as well. The 3c claret seems to be the best stamp for shades, through worthwhile shades can be found on the 4c value as well. I find the shades on the 1c and 2c to be so subtle that only the most detail-oriented collector would be likely to collect them. However, with careful comparison, you can definitely identify shades in all coil stamps of this issue.

The scan above shows two nice shade varieties of the perf 8.5 3c claret coil. On the left we have a deep brown purple, while on the right we have a deep claret.



Here we have an even more marked shade difference, this time on the perf. 9.5 coils, with the pair on the left being a true light rose violet, while the pair on the right is deep claret.

Booklet Panes and Complete Booklets

This issue saw two innovations that increased the degree of complexity associated with the collecting of booklets:
  • Bilingual booklets were introduced, in addition to the normal English and French versions. 
  • The so-called "chewing gum" booklets were introduced. These booklets contained small panes of three stamps and looked a lot like a pack of Wrigley's gum. 
Like the English and French booklets, the bilingual booklets utilized their own cover designs, each of which required different dies as well. So their inclusion in the lexicon of booklets increases the complexity associated with them quite considerably.

Before I get into the specific booklets and varieties in all their complexity, lets start by taking a look at the various booklet covers and becoming familiar with them, as small differences in these are what lie behind the immense complexity of the booklets printed for this issue. I will start with the English covers, then look at the French covers, and finally the bilingual covers.

Peter Harris, a well respected, and as far as I know, retired British dealer, has identified a number of different dies that were used to print the various front and back covers that were used for the booklets of this period. What makes the collecting of booklets from this period so complex, is that there were several dies used for each of the front and back covers, and in many cases, several permutations and combinations are possible for both English and French covers. Harris wrote and published a book titled "Canadian Stamp Booklets, Dotted Cover Dies 1935-1955". It is available from most stamp dealers, and Phil Banser, the philatelic literature dealer in the US likely sells it also. So I do not wish to plagiarize his book by including scans of all his illustrations. However, I will provide a summary of the different types and describe how they can be identified. But if you want to see the easy to follow illustrations, you should obtain a copy of his book.

Now for the covers...

English Covers

Front Covers


This is what Harris refers to as a type II front cover. It basically consists of the Canadian coat of arms surrounded by the words "Canada Postage", A description of the contents, and the price. The booklets containing the 1c were light green, while the covers of the booklets containing the other values were as follows:

  • 2c brown had a light brown cover.
  • 3c carmine had a salmon-red cover.
  • 3c claret had a mauve cover.
  • 4c carmine had an orange cover.
  • 1c + 2c + 3c combination booklets had a light violet cover. 
Harris identifies two different dies for each of these covers, except for the four cent booklets, of which there is only one type. To identify these types, you have to look at the "P" of "Postage" on the cover. You will see that there are a number of dots inside the P. The number of dots inside the P and their arrangement will dictate what type of booklet cover you have. The different types can be summarized as follows:

  • 1c green - One type has one dot in the P, while the other has two dots.
  • 2c brown - One type has two dots inside the P, while the other has three dots.
  • 3c carmine - One type has two dots inside the P, while the other has three.
  • Combination booklet - as above for the 2c and 3c booklets.
  • 4c carmine - all front covers have two dots inside the P.




This is the front cover that was used for the so called "chewing gum" booklets that were first issued in 1943. Looking at the above scan, it is easy to see why they were referred to as chewing gum booklets. Harris refers to these as type IV front covers. He has identified no fewer than four different die types for these covers. To identify them you need to look carefully at the scroll containing the word "Postage" and then look at the dot pattern that lies directly below the P:

  • One type has four dots arranged in an oblique square.
  • A second type has five dots arranged to form a rectangle.
  • A third type has three dots in the shape of a triangle, whose apex points to the right.
  • The fourth type has three dots that form a triangle, whose apex points downwards.



This third type of English cover was not discussed by Harris, as there is only one type. It was used only for the $1 gift booklets that were sold in 1947. The French version looks exactly the same, but in French. There was no bilingual version of this cover. 

Back Covers


This back cover type is referred to by Harris as a type C back cover. There are four dotted dies for each of two sub-types:

  • The first type shown above has "Post Master" as two different words separated by a space. 
  • The second type has "Postmaster" as one single word. 
So, in total, there are 8 different back covers that can be found for these covers. To distinguish the 4 die types you have to look at the arrangement of the dots inside the concave upper left corner of the text panel:

  • One type has 4 dots arranged in a convex arc. 
  • A second type has 8 dots arranged in a sideways "Y", pointing outwards.
  • A third type has three dots arranged in a convex arc.
  • The fourth type has 5 dots arranged in an "L" shape that encloses a triangle of three dots. 
These covers can be found on the different booklets as follows:

  • 1c green booklets - all eight types, with both types of front cover.
  • 3c claret booklets - all eight types, with both types of front cover. 
  • 4c carmine booklets - all eight types, with both types of front cover. 




Harris refers to this cover, as a Type A back cover. There is only one die type of this cover. It is found on the following booklets:

  • Combination booklets, which usually only occur only with the first type of front cover (the one with two dots inside the P). 
  • 1c green booklets - with both types of front cover.
  • 2c brown booklets - with both types of front cover.
  • 3c carmine booklets - with both types of front cover.
  • 4c carmine booklets. 




This back cover, used for the chewing gum booklets is referred to by Harris as a Type H cover. Like the front cover, Harris has identified 4 different die types. To distinguish them, you need to look at the dot pattern of the dots just outside the bottom left of the text panel. These are hard to describe, but can be summarized as follows:

  • The first type shows a large sideways "Y" opening outwards.
  • The second type shows a cluster of three rows of dots that resemble a broad upward stroke.
  • The third type as an almost completely random pattern. 
  • The fourth type is a pattern of three parallel horizontal rows of dots.



This is the back cover of the 1947 gift booklet. Again, the French version looks exactly the same, except that the text is in French.

French Covers

Front Covers


Here we have the French version of the Type II front cover. Harris also refers to these as Type II covers. Like the English versions, there are two different die types for each basic booklet, except for the 4c booklets, where there are up to four different die types, identified the same way as the English covers:

  • 1c booklets - One type has two dots inside the P, while the other has three.
  • 2c booklets - Both have two dots inside the P, but one has then arranged in a diagonal pattern sloping downward from left to right, while the other one has the pattern sloping upward from left to right. 
  • 3c booklets - One type has two dots inside the P, while the other has three.
  • Combination booklets - Same as above for the 3c booklets.
  • 4c booklets - One type has three dots. The other three all have two dots arranged in a diagonal sloping pattern. On the second type, the slope is upwards from left to right. On the third and fourth types, the slope is downward from right to left, with the slope of the third type being lower (flatter) than the fourth type.



Here is the French version of the Type IV cover, which Harris refers to as a Type V. Harris as identified 8 different dies. All of them are distinguished by comparing the dot pattern of the dots just to the right of the half-circle that is at the top of the coat of arms. It is too difficult for me to describe the different patterns as they are complex. So you can simply compare and contrast the booklets you have, knowing that there are eight types. But if you want to identify a specific type that you have, you will need Harris's book. 

Back Covers:


This is the French version of the type A back cover, which Harris refers to as type B. Again, there is only one die type for this cover. It is found on the following booklets:


  • 1c green booklets - with both types of front cover. 
  • 2c brown booklets - with both types of front cover.
  • 3c carmine booklets - with both types of front cover. 
  • 4c carmine booklets - with only the type that has two dots angled upward from left to right.
  • Combination booklets - with both cover types.



This is the French version of the Type C back cover. There is no second sub-type with this one as there was with the English version. Like the English version, there are four dies, which this time are identified by looking at the arrangement of the dots to the immediate right of the lower right corner of the text panel:

  • One type has a line of dots emanating from the right corner of the lower right corner of the text box, and angled downwards at about a 45 degree angle from right to left. 
  • One type has two slightly curved rows of dots emanating from the same corner of the text box at about 150 degree angle to the right of the text box.
  • A third type has three horizontal rows of dots emanating from this corner and from inside the half circle, and moving  toward the right of the cover.
  • The last type has six dots arranged in a convex arc that closes the half circle of the lower right corner of the text box, while enclosing a single dot within.
This type of back cover is found on the following booklets:

  • 1c green booklets - The first two types are found with the first front cover type, while the last two are found with the second front cover type, so that there are only four different booklets, rather than eight. 
  • 3c claret booklets - All four types with both types of front cover. 
  • 4c carmine booklets - All four types, but only with the front cover that has the two dots at the 45 degree angle. 




This is the French version of the Type H cover, which Harris calls Type J. Like the front cover, there are eight different die types, which means that there can possibly be up to 64 different basic booklets, though many of these front and back cover types are not yet known. The eight types are distinguished by looking at the dots to the immediate left of the lower left corner of the text panel. The types are so similar that it is too difficult to describe them accurately here. However, you can always compare and contrast the booklets that you have, knowing that there are eight reported types.

Bilingual Covers

Front Covers


This is the bilingual front cover found on the chewing gum booklets that were issued in bilingual form. Harris refers to these as type VI covers. There were no fewer than 15 different dies used for these, though not all of them have been reported on the booklets of this issue. The types are distinguished by the dot pattern to the left of the half circle at the top of the coat of arms. 


This is an example of the bilingual front cover that was used for three different booklets:

  • 1c green 1946 booklets.
  • 3c claret 1946 booklets.
  • 4c carmine 1946 booklets.
Harris refers to these as Type III front covers. In all three cases, he has identified two different die types of each:

  • On the 1c booklets you have to look at the dot pattern to the left of the shield above the word "book". One type, there is a 45 degree line of dots that encloses the space and four dots within that space. On the second type, there is a curved arc of dots that emanates away from the shield, and to the left. 
  • On the 3c booklets, you have to look at the "NE" of the word "Carnet". On one type, the E has a very thick serif between the "E" and the "N". On the second type, the "N" and the "E" are joined by a very thin serif. 
  • On the 4c booklets you have to look at the upper inscription where it says "Timbres-Poste" and pay attention to the shape of the hyphen between those two words. On the first type, the hyphen is pointed, while on the second, it is squared off. 


Back Covers


This is the back cover of the bilingual chewing gum booklet, which Harris refers to as type K. Like the Type C cover, that had the two sub-types, depending on whether "post master" was one word or two separate words, this one also exists in two sub-types as well. In addition to these two sub types, Harris has identified up to 15 different dies for each type, and these are distinguished by looking at the dot pattern to the left of the upper left corner of the text panel. This makes for a staggering 450 possible booklets for this format! However, nowhere near this many have, as yet been reported. The difference between these different dies is too difficult to describe here, so you will have to simply compare and contrast the booklets that you have, or refer to a copy of Harris's book that contains the full pictorial chart. 

Unfortunately I do not have an example of a back cover that goes with the 1c, 3c and 4c booklets. It has the same basic text message as the chewing gum booklet above, and Harris refers to this as Type F.  Once again, there are two sub-types of type F, one where "post master" is two words, and another, where it is one word. Each of these two sub types exists with two die types, which are best distinguished by looking at the dots just outside the lower left corner of the text panel:

  • On the first type, two rows of dots emanate from the upper left corner of this corner and move downward to the bottom right of the corner, almost enclosing the half circle that is in that corner. 
  • On the second type, there are two semi-circular arcs that intersect in the middle, and together, they enclose about 3/4 of the half circle in the lower left corner of the text panel. 
This concludes my discussion of the different cover types, and gives you some insight as to why the collecting of the booklets from this issue can get so complicated. 


Rate Pages

Once you understand the differences in the booklet covers, the next aspect that contributes to the complexity of the booklets is the rate pages. A rate page is simply one of the two or three printed pages inside the booklet that contains information about the postage rates. Typically it will give the domestic airmail rate for the first two weight steps, and then the U.S rates for the first two weight steps as well. Typically, the standard convention is to refer to the rate page according to the rate on the last line of the rate page. So following that naming convention, the scan below shows a 7c & 6c rate page:


Not all of the booklets issued during the life of this issue contain a rate page. The following booklets exist with no rate page:

  • 2c brown booklets.
  • 3c carmine booklets.
  • 4c carmine booklets.
  • Combination booklets.
For those booklets that do have rate pages, the first booklets had the 6c US rate. Those are found on all of the basic booklets except for the chewing gum booklets, i.e:


  • 1c green booklets
  • 2c brown booklets.
  • 3c carmine booklets.
  • 4c carmine booklets.
  • Combination booklets.
When the rates were increased to 7c in 1943, the old rate pages were surcharged to use them up until new ones could be prepared. Some were overprinted with a large "X", while others had the old rates blacklined out, and the new rates added in text form. Again, all of the booklets except for the chewing gum booklets exist with the blacklined rate pages, while all the basic booklet types except for the 4c carmine booklets and the chewing gum booklets exist with the "X" on the rate pages. However, not all of the front and back cover combinations exist with these rate pages, though many do. 

Later booklets had either 7c & 6c rate pages like the one above, or had 7c & 5c rate pages. The only booklet types to exist with both rate pages are:

  • 1c green booklets - English, French and bilingual. 
  • 3c claret booklets - English, French and bilingual.
  • 4c carmine booklets - English, French and bilingual.
  • The chewing gum booklets - English, French and bilingual. 
Some booklets exist with 7c & 6c rate pages, but not the 7c & 5c rates. These include:

  • 2c brown - English and French only.
  • Combination booklet - English and French only. 

Staple Sizes

Another aspect of the booklets from this issue that adds to the complexity of the booklets is the length of the staple that was used to bind the cover. Believe it or not, different staples of different lengths were used, and some of these are very rare. Below is an example of what I am referring to on the 1947 gift booklet:



If you look carefully at the two booklets, you will see that the staple of the booklet on the right is larger than the booklet on the left. The booklet on the right has a 14 mm staple, while the booklet on the left has a 12 mm staple.

Unitrade makes no mention of staple sizes, but Harris identifies three sizes: 17 mm, 14 mm and 12 mm. Not all sizes exist with every booklet type, and 17 mm is the most common length. A summary of the different types that can be found is as follows:


  • All known 1c green booklets used 17 mm staples.
  • All known 2c brown booklets used 17 mm staples.
  • The 3c carmine booklets are found with all three sizes, though the 14 mm ones are rare, and both the 12 mm and 14 mm staples are only found with certain cover combinations. 
  • All known 3c claret booklets used 17 mm staples.
  • The 4c carmine booklets are again found with all three sizes, and again, some are rare, and found with only certain cover combinations. 
  • The combination booklets are found with both 14 mm and 17 mm staples, and again, some of these are quite rare. 
  • The chewing gum booklets are found with 12 mm and 17 mm staples. 

Beyond the pure interest in collecting all the known booklet types, the staple sizes are important also because they help to verify the authenticity of the booklet itself. Many of the scarcer booklet types have been faked by taking genuine booklets, disassembling them carefully, and then taking the covers, panes and rate pages and reassembling them into the scarcer types. However to do this the booklets have to be re-stapled, and these new staples will not match the original staples used, either in appearance, or in size. 


Booklet Panes

Last, but by no means least, are the booklet panes themselves. There were four basic pane layouts. Three of these are illustrated below, while the fourth is the pane of 3 stamps from the so called chewing gum booklets, which unfortunately I do not have an example of at the moment:


The first of these is the pane of 4 plus 2 blank labels as shown above. These came from the combination booklets that consisted of one pane each of the 1c, 2c and 3c. Both the 3c carmine-red and 3c claret were issued, so four basic panes with this layout exist:

  • 1c green
  • 2c brown
  • 3c carmine-red



The second type of pane is the pane of 6, with narrow selvage tab. These come from 25c booklets, so that the 1c was issued in booklets consisting of 4 panes of 6. The 2c was issued in booklets containing 2 panes of 6, and finally, the 4c carmine red was issued in booklets containing a single pane of 6. This format was not used for either the 3c carmine-red, or the 3c claret.


The third type of pane is the pane of 6 with wide selvage tab. These came from the 1947 gift booklets that sold for $1 and contained 1 pane each of the 3c claret, the 4c carmine red, and two panes of 4 of the 1946 Peace Issue Airmail. As this stamp is really part of the Peace Issue, I do not deal with it here. 

The final type, which I do not have an illustration of, is the pane of three from the so called "chewing gum" booklets. These contained one pane each of the 1c green, 3c claret and 4c carmine red. It had a face value of 24c and sold for the full 25c. 

As with the sheet stamps, it is possible to find the panes exhibiting variations in the paper, gum and shades, similar to the sheet stamps. I have not handled enough booklet panes to be able to definitively state that the variations in the panes are as extensive as the sheet stamps, but I suspect with the number of panes printed, and the time period over which they were issued, that there must be almost as much variation. As if the booklets are not complex enough, after considering all the above factors, you can make a collection of them even more in-depth by collecting variations in the panes contained within the booklets. This is a largely untapped area of Canadian philately that could prove very rewarding to a specialist with the inclination to tackle it. 

Bringing it All Together

Unitrade provides a very pared down listing of the booklets. They distinguish between the basic cover types, and some of the "post master" sub-types, while including all the rate pages. There is however, no consideration given to the die types, nor is any attention paid to staple sizes, as I just said.  With that, they list 81 different booklets as follows:

  • 15 different 1c green booklets.
  • 10 different 2c brown booklets.
  • 8 different 3c carmine booklets.
  • 9 different 3c claret booklets.
  • 17 different 4c carmine booklets,
  • 10 different combination booklets.
  • 9 different chewing gum booklets.
  • 3 different gift booklets. 
Once you add in the different die types and staple widths, an already very complicated area becomes massive in scope:

  • 52 different 1c green booklets.
  • 12 different 2c brown booklets.
  • 16 different 3c carmine booklets.
  • 32 different 3c claret booklets.
  • 75 different 4c carmine booklets.
  • 12 different combination booklets.
  • 79 different chewing gum booklets, with more possibly undiscovered!
  • 3 different different gift booklets.
That makes a total of 281 different booklets, if you ignore paper, gum and shade differences in the panes themselves. If each booklet exists with 2 or three different shade, paper, or gum varieties, you can quickly see how a specialized collection of these booklets can number 1,000 different booklets. 

This brings me to the end of my second post about this issue. Next week, I will cover the final aspects of this issue, including the proof material, the OHMS perfins & overprints, and the postal history. It is my hope that after reading this some of you are starting to see this issue as a very meaty and worthwhile challenge. 







Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The 1942-48 War Effort Issue Part One

This is an issue that took a long time to grow on me. I found the designs in general lacked the ornateness of the earlier issues. It was years before I understood that the simplicity of the designs was intentional and meant to send a no-nonsense message to the citizenry. The idea was that in a time of war, one should direct all extra resources and efforts to fighting the war. Therefore it was determined that it would be inappropriate to continue with the ornate designs of the earlier, pre-war period. Once I was able to evaluate this issue in the broader historical context, I found that I was able to appreciate it far more than I had previously.

It is a vastly under-collected set to be sure, with most collectors relegating it to a single page in their albums. However, it is probably one of the most complicated definitive issues of this period, as we shall soon see. The complexity comes mainly from the vast number of plate blocks and booklets, but as with the previous two issues, there are also, shade, paper and gum varieties that add greatly to the complexity of the material.

This issue is also the first to include both overprinted, and perforated official stamps. By now the 5-hole perfin type is completely gone from production, leaving only the 4-hole type. In 1949, the perfins were abandoned in favour of  OHMS overprints. These were however, only produced on the low values up to the 4c.

Finally, this issue was one of the first to be replaced in stages, rather than all at once. The first stamps to be replaced were the high values, which were supplanted by the Peace Issue in late 1946. The low values on the other hand remained in use until the Postes-Postage issue replaced them in November 1949.

The issue was designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz. The image for the portrait of King George VI was based on a photograph by Hugh Cecil Saunders. The vignettes for all stamps except the airmail special delivery stamps, and the special delivery stamp were engraved by Arthur C. Vogel. The vignettes for the airmail special delivery stamps were engraved by Joseph Keller,  and the vignette for the special delivery issue was engraved by Silas Robert Allen. The frames for all stamps were engraved by Charles H. Milks.

The Stamp Designs, Issue Dates and Quantities Issued


1c green - King George VI in naval uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued September 14, 1942 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued February 9, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced May 18, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced December 23, 1949.
2,543,000,000 sheet stamps.
46,696,000 booklet stamps.
26,000,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.




2c brown - King George VI in army uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued September 14, 1942 & October 6, 1942.
Coil stamps issued November 24, 1942.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps not replaced.
Coil stamps replaced May 18, 1950.
471,000,000 sheet stamps.
4,228,000 booklet stamps.
8,465,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.




3c carmine red - King George VI in air force uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued August 20, 1942 & September 14, 1942.
Coil stamps issued September 23, 1942.
Sheet stamps replaced June 30, 1943.
Booklet stamps replaced August 28, 1943.
Coil stamps replaced August 19, 1943.
606,000,000 sheet stamps.
44,888,000 booklet stamps.
9,975,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)




3c deep claret - King George VI in air force uniform.
Sheet stamps issued June 30, 1943.
Booklet stamps issued August 28, 1943 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued August 19, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced April 1, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced December 23, 1949.
2,118,000,000 sheet stamps.
37,235,000 booklet stamps.
45,990,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.



4c greenish black - grain elevators.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 9, 1943
7,900,000 stamps


4c carmine - King George VI in army uniform.
Sheet stamps issued April 9, 1943.
Booklet stamps issued May 3, 1943 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued May 13, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced May 5, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced April 20, 1950.
3,149,000,000 sheet stamps.
179,478,000 booklet stamps.
47,590,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.


5c Prussian blue - King George VI in naval uniform.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced November 15, 1949.
174,000,000 stamps.


8c deep lake brown - farm scene.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
22,979,000 stamps.


10c brown - parliament buildings, centre block.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
157.680,577 stamps. 


13c myrtle green - ram tank.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
4,000,000 stamps.



14c dull green - ram tank
Issued, April 16, 1943.
14,878,643 stamps.


20c violet brown - corvette.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
62,028,166 stamps.


50c deep bluish violet - munitions factory.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
16,486,515 stamps.


$1 steel blue - tribal class destroyer.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
6,195,600 stamps.


6c steel blue - British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
14,990,000 stamps.


7c steel blue - British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Issued, April 16, 1943.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
97,793,000 stamps.



16c deep bright ultrmarine - Trans Canada Airplane.
Issued, July 1, 1942
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
814,841 stamps.



17c deep ultrmarine - Trans Canada Airplane.
Issued, April 16, 1943
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
868,689 stamps.



10c deep bright green - flags & coat of arms.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
3,276,404 stamps.

As you can probably see from the quantities above, these are very common stamps, which is wonderful, because it means that there is enough material around to afford you the opportunity to prepare a thorough, in-depth study of this issue. The quantities issued of the airmail special delivery stamps is surprisingly low, and of these, the vast majority are mint. A real challenge is to see how many of these you can find in used condition, or on cover. 


Points of Interest

This issue can be taken in all the usual directions by the specialist:
  • Shade Varieties
  • Paper and Gum Varieties
  • Plate Blocks
  • Imperforate Pairs and Other Imperforate Varieties
  • Gutter Pairs and Foldover Errors
  • Coil Stamps
  • Booklet Panes and Complete Booklets
  • OHMS Perfins and Overprints
  • First Day Covers, Postal History and Cancellations
  • Precancels
  • Postal stationery
  • Proof Material
Today's post will cover the first five of these aspects, and in the following week, I will deal with the next two, while the last post will explore the last five aspects of this issue. 


Shade Varieties

At first this issue appears to suffer from an almost complete uniformity of colour. However, upon close examination, it becomes apparent that many values exhibit shade varieties that are anywhere from subtle to prominent. The 1c, 4c greenish black, 13c green, 14c green and 10c special delivery stamps exhibit near uniformity of colour. However, the other values can all be found with shade varieties that can be summarized as follows:

2c Brown



The colour varies both in terms of tone, as well as brightness. I have seen bright yellowish brown and bright reddish browns, and at the same time, I have seen, deep dull brown shades as well. The scan above shows some of these shades. Hopefully you can see that the stamp on the right is the darkest shade of brown, while the stamp immediately to it's left is the lightest. The difference between these shades is obvious. The first three stamps on the left are all very similar, but if you compare them to the stamps on the right, they are all darker than the lightest shade, but not as dark as the right hand stamp. Finally, if you stare at these three stamps for a while, while relaxing your gaze, you should start to notice very minute differences in the tones. Here is a scan showing the lightest, brightest shade I have seen, contrasted with the normal dark brown:


3c Carmine


This colour varies quite a bit in both tone and intensity. The stamp on the left in the above scan is a light, soft carmine-red, while the second stamp from the left is a very deep, rich carmine-red. The third stamp from the left, is a lighter, brighter carmine-red, while the right hand stamp is a deep, bright carmine red. 

3c Rose-violet




This colour is really claret, rather than rose violet, and it varies in terms of how much red, or how much brown is contained in the mix. On one end of the scale there is the deeper brownish purples, which are not bright, but rather are very brownish, deep and rich, like the stamp at the left. Then, as the amount of brown diminishes, and purple predominates, we get stamps like the third and fifth stamps from the left.  On the other hand, there is the rosy claret, which contains very little brown, and is much closer to the rose violet. The lightest of these is the second stamp from the left, while the fourth stamp from the left , and the right stamp are both of similar tone, but slightly different intensities. I would actually venture to suggest that this colour exhibits the most variation of any stamps in the series, as it was the most commonly used stamp, and was in use from 1943 until it was replaced by the 3c Postes-Postage issue in late 1949.

4c Carmine



This colour is really more of a carmine red, but it varies both in terms of how much blue it contains, as well as its brightness. The brightest shades, contain almost no blue, and are more of a scarlet, while the deeper, duller shades of carmine, are quite bluish by comparison. In the scan above, I show the paler, softer carmine reds on the first, third and fifth stamps from the left. The fourth stamp from the left is the deep carmine red, while the second stamp from the left is a slightly duller deep carmine red, printed on a rose-tinted paper. This tint is likely the result of improper wiping of the printing plate.

5c Blue



This colour exhibits the usual range of steel and Prussian blues. The steel blue shades all contain some grey to the blue, while the Prussian blues all contain some green. The above scan shows three shades of Prussia blue, with the darkest on the left, the lightest in the middle, and a deep, bright shade on the right.

8c Red-Brown



This generally always a bright red brown, though a slightly duller version is sometimes seen. The above scan shows these two shades. Although very slight, you be able to see that the stamp on the right is slightly brighter than the one on the left. The right stamp is the normal bright lake brown, whereas the one on the left is the bright red-brown, which is duller than the lake-brown.  I once saw a used example that was a pure brown shade, that contained absolutely no red undertone. I have not seen another one since. Being used, it is possible that it was a chemical changeling, but I don't think it was, given how close the colour was to other denomintions, like the 10c. It is possible that this was an error of colour. Unfortunately I did not keep the stamp, throwing it into a large accumulation of used singles - something I now regret given that I have never seen it since.

10c Brown


This colour varies in terms of how much red, or how much yellow it contains, much the same as the other brown shades found on the stamps of this issue. The shade variations in general are subtle, but there are generally four major shades: brown, a deep brown with a hint of red, a deep brown with a hint of yellow, and a light brown. In the above scan, the brown is on the left, while the light brown is on the right. Then the two deep brown shades are on the middle stamps, with the one on the right, being yellowish compared to the stamp on its left.

20c Chocolate



This colour is referred to by Unitrade as chocolate, but it is far too dark to be thus. It is more of an violet brown. It varies both in intensity, and tone. In the above scan, the stamps at left and right contain more purple in the mix than brown, while the two middle stamps contain less brown.

50c Violet



There are many variations of this colour, both with respect to the brightness level as well as the amount of red contained in the mix. In addition, it can be found in a deep bright bluish violet shade. In the above scan, the first two stamps are shades of bluish violet, with the left stamp being deeper than the one to its immediate right. On the left we have the violet shades that do not contain the bluish undertone. The stamp on the right is a slightly deeper shade than the stamp to its immediate left.

$1 Deep Blue




This colour is generally not a pure dark blue, but is usually either a steel blue, which contains some grey, or it is a Prussian blue that contains a greenish undertone. The shades are so similar that the differences are difficult to see in a scan. What I have done here in the above scan is to take a plate block of the deep dull blue shade, and lay a deep Prussian blue over top of the lower right stamp. Hopefully you can see that the lower right stamp in the above scan is greenish compared to the other three stamps. You have to look at it for a few minutes and allow your eyes to adjust, but the difference should become apparent as your eyes acclimatize.

6c Deep Dull Blue



This airmail stamp does exhibit some variation, from Prussian blues to steel blues, though the differences are very difficult to see in a scan. In the above scan, it should be apparent after a few minutes that the middle stamp is a brighter blue than the ones at the sides.

7c blue



This second airmail stamp that was issued in 1943, and in use until 1946, exhibits quite a bit of variation, from steel blue to a dull greenish blue. Here we see the steel blue on the left, and the dull greenish blue on the right.

16c and 17c Ultramarine 



The airmail special delivery stamps show quite a bit of variation in terms of how bright the ultramarine is, as well as how much violet is included in the colour. In the above scan of the 16c, we have from left to right: deep ultramarine, deep bright ultramarine and violet blue. The 17c is usually a lighter, softer shade compared to the 16c. The scan below shows some shades of the 17c, with the centre stamp being a deep aniline ultramarine, and the outer stamps being a deep ultramarine.



Paper and Gum Varieties

Although there are fewer paper and gum varieties compared to the previous two issues, there are enough to make this a very complicated issue. Interestingly, Unitrade completely ignores this aspect of the issue.

Paper Varieties





There are at least five paper types that I have seen in working with the stamps of this issue:

  • A soft white vertical wove that shows a clear mesh when viewed from the back. This appears to have been used for all the early 1942 printings, as it generally is not found on those stamps which were not issued until 1943 or later. 
  • A soft, almost translucent wove paper that shows no clear weave at all. This paper often appears toned. 
  • A harder, thicker opaque wove paper that shows no clear weave at all. This paper was used on the latest printings of the low values made after 1946. 
  • A soft horizontal wove paper that shows very fine horizontal mesh when viewed from the back. This was used on the first coil stamps perforated 8 vertically. 
  • A horizontal ribbed paper, showing distinct ribbing on the gummed side, but not the face generally. 
  • A ribbed paper that shows ribbing on both the front and back. The first scan of the 1c shown at the beginning of this post illustrates this type of paper. 
In the scan above of the 1c stamps, you can see some of the variations in the colour of the paper that are found. 

Gum Varieties








The gum on this issue shows a considerable amount of variation in colour, as well as the thickness of the gum and the sheen. I have seen at least ten types of gum on this issue:

  • A brownish yellow gum with a high gloss sheen. I have seen this on the 10c brown, 10c special delivery and the 16c airmail special delivery. An example can be see in the second scan above on the second stamp from the left. 
  • A brownish yellow gum with a mottled appearance and a satin sheen, which I have also seen on the 16c airmail special delivery. An example is the fourth scan above. 
  • A cream gum with a satin sheen. This gum can be seen on the right stamp in the top scan above, as well as the end stamps on the second scan and the right three stamps in the third scan above.
  • A cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen. I have seen this gum on the 17c airmail special delivery stamp. 
  • A deep yellow gum with a grainy texture and a satin sheen. An example of this gum can be seen in the first scan above, on the stamp on the left. 
  • A cream gum, with a patchiness and a satin sheen. 
  • A white gum with a satin sheen. An example of this gum can be seen on the middle stamp in the first scan above. 
  • A deep yellow-cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen. An example of this gum can be seen on the second scan above, on the third stamp from the left. 
  • A light brownish cream gum with a satin sheen. An example of this can be seen on the third scan above, on the left hand stamp. 
  • A yellowish, streaky gum with a satin sheen.
There may be others, but these are the main ones. The brownish yellow and the white gums would appear to correspond to the earlier printings, while the patchy cream gum with the satin sheen is attributable to the later printings. 


Plate Blocks



All the plate blocks of this issue are corner blocks of 4. There are no centre positions, and while a block can be more than 4 stamps long, it is not necessary, as the full imprints will be visible on a block consisting of 4 stamps. There are a staggering number of different plates, as follows:


  • 1c green - 32 plates = 128 different blocks, plus 5 different cracked plates.
  • 2c brown - 6 plates = 24 different blocks.
  • 3c carmine red - 10 plates = 40 different blocks.
  • 3c deep claret - 28 plates = 112 different blocks, plus 7 different cracked plates.
  • 4c greenish black - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 4c carmine red - 47 plates = 188 different blocks, plus 9 different cracked plates.
  • 5c Prussian blue - 4 plates = 16 different blocks.
  • 8c bright lake brown - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 10c brown - 6 plates = 24 different blocks, plus 1 cracked plate.
  • 13c myrtle green - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 14c dull green - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 20c violet brown - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 50c bluish violet - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • $1 steel blue - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 6c airmail - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 7c airmail - 5 plates = 20 different blocks, though plate 5 UL has not been reported as yet.
  • 16c airmail special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 17c airmail special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 10c special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks. 
  • 1c green OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 2c brown OHMS overprint - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 3c deep claret OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 4c carmine red OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks. 
So at a minimum, the basic set of plate blocks consists of 654 plate blocks! This is not considering any shade, paper, or gum varieties which could exist. In addition, except for the OHMS overprints, the remaining blocks could all exist with 4-hole OHMS perfins, in up to 8 different positions, making for a total of 5,008 potential additional plate blocks! That is a staggering number that is hard to visualize. Basically, you could spend your entire life collecting these plate blocks, and getting them all will be a real challenge 


In addition to the different plate numbers and positions, some of the plates are known with cracks that show up as jagged lines in the selvage.

Order Numbers, Cutting Guides, Dashes and Position Dots

Order Numbers

As is the case with many of the stamps printed by the CBN, there are various markings to be found on the plate blocks, which exhibit some variation, and are long overdue for a detailed study. The first of these are the order numbers, which appear on the lower left position. The CBN placed these on all LL plate blocks until the fall of 1957. I have seen different numbers, and different spacings between the numbers, which would indicate the use of more than one plate to print the inscriptions. Compiling a complete list of these numbers is no easy task, due to the very large number of plates that were used to print these stamps, and I have seen very few plate blocks of this issue. However, I will list what I have seen here, and will add to the listing, as I examine more and more blocks:

1c green plate 30 - #1170, closely spaced numerals (i.e. 2.5 mm apart).
1c green plate 31 - #1170, also closely spaced numerals.
2c brown plate 5 - #1121  with widely spaced numerals (i.e. 5 mm apart).

Cutting Guides

The small size stamps were printed in sheets of 400 which were then guillotined into four panes of 100 stamps each, while the larger format stamps were printed in sheets of 200 that were guillotined into four panes of 50. Lines were placed both horizontally and vertically inside the gutters that separated each pane to act as a guide for the guillotine. Ideally, the guillotine was supposed to cut along this line, splitting it, so that it wouldn't be visible on the resulting pane. However, this was often not achieved, with the result that blocks will often show a horizontal line, a vertical line, or both inside the selvage. The block at the left in the above scan is an example of a block that shows a horizontal cutting guideline at the top.

Dashes


Some blocks such as the one shown above can be found with a dash to the left of the "N" of "No.". If you compare this to the right hand LL block from the same plate, in the first scan above, you will see that no dash appears in that block. So it would appear that there are two different types of LL block for this plate. There could of course be others on the other values as well. I will detail them here as they come to my attention. The positions that I have seen with this dash so far are:


  • 1c green, plate 31.
  • 2c brown, plate 5 with widely spaced order number #1121.


Position Dots

On the CBN issues well into the late 1950's the lower positions of plate blocks often show one or more coloured dots inside the selvage. Starting in the late 1950's, these dots can also appear on the top positions, or in the selvage at the sides. However, on this issue they seem to be confined to the lower positions as follows:


  • On the lower left positions, the dot is located under the "D" of "Limited" in the inscription.
  • On the lower right positions, the dot is located under the "C" of "Canadian" in the inscription.


Imperforate Pairs and Other Imperforate Varieties

Image result for Canada War Issue Imperforate pairs

All the regular issue stamps of the series exist imperforate, and these are generally collected as pairs. Some of the coil stamps exist partially imperforate vertically, as a result of a missed strike by the comb perforator. The following varieties and the quantities produced are as follows:


  • 1c green - 150 pairs.
  • 2c brown - 150 pairs.
  • 2c brown, vertical strip of 3, imperforate horizontally - 3 strips.
  • 3c deep carmine-red - 150 pairs.
  • 3c deep claret - 150 pairs.
  • 4c greenish black - 150 pairs.
  • 4c carmine red - 150 pairs.
  • 5c deep blue - 150 pairs.
  • 8c bright lake-brown - 150 pairs.
  • 10c brown - 75 pairs.
  • 10c brown, imperf. at right margin - 10 singles.
  • 13c myrtle green - 50 pairs.
  • 14c dull green - 75 pairs.
  • 20c violet brown - 75 pairs.
  • 50c bluish violet - 75 pairs.
  • $1 steel blue - 75 pairs.
  • 3c deep claret perf. 9.5 coil strip, imperforate at bottom. - 1 strip.
  • 6c airmail - 50 pairs
  • 7c airmail - 50 pairs
  • 7c airmail - imperf at right margin - 10 singles from plate 4 LR pane.
  • 16c airmail special delivery - 75 pairs.
  • 17c airmail special delivery - 75 pairs.
  • 10c special delivery - 75 pairs.


Gutter Pairs and Foldover Errors


The 1c green exists in a unique gutter block that resulted from a paper foldover error. It occurred where the stamps of one pane got folded over to the stamps of a second lower pane, so that when it was opened out, there are two vertical pairs with a full horizontal gutter in between. As far as I know this piece is still intact, and consists of two vertical strips for 4 with the gutters, and then two lower pairs attached to the left.

Then the 3c deep claret also exists in a horizontal gutter pair which came about due to a foldover error that prevented two panes from being properly guillotined. Twenty of these pairs exist.

This concludes the first post of three dealing with this very attractive and interesting wartime set. Hopefully after seeing just how much scope there is for specialization, some of you may be inspired to try your hand at collecting the issue in more depth.