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Canada/Covers & Postmarks : Canada 1942 rate question

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
27 Nov 2004
04:01:24pm
Can anyone tell me whether the 20-cent value of Canada's 1942 "War Issue" was intended to fulfill the need for a particular rate?

I have never been very clear on the importance of rate studies, and in starting work on my exhibit for VANPEX 2005 the thought crossed my mind that I don't really know if all the stamps in such sets are issued for particular purposes. This particular set includes 14 stamps with values of 1 cent, 2 cents, 3 cents, 4 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents, 10 cents 13 cents, 14 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and one dollar. (There two different 3-cent and two different four cent stamps. The 13- and 14-cent stamps are identical in design; the 14-cent stamp was issued to accomodate a rate change, although I have no idea what that rate was for either.

It's odd, isn't it, that catalogues don't pay more attention to this aspect of philately.

Anyway, here's the stamp in question; it shows a Canadian Corvette (submarine hunter) shortly before launch. Did it have a particular use?

corvette

Bob
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Roy Lingen [Stamporama Webmaster] (Roy)
27 Nov 2004
06:46:32pm
re: Canada 1942 rate question

At the time it was issued, there were few uses that a single 20c stamp would be used for. There may be some overweight combinations to the US or Canada that would call for it, but not straightforward ones. For example, after April 1, 1943, a 9 oz registered letter to the US would call for 20c (4c 1st oz + 8 oz x 2c/oz + 10c registry). Also, it might be used as an addition to a 3c (before April 1/43) or a 4c to pay the combined 20c registration (10c) + AR fee (10c) (Avis de Reception = Return receipt).

It's most common use is in 30c combinations for airmail to the UK and some other countries. Also, 20c was the fee for domestic double indemnity (to $50) registry fee.

The 13c and 14c stamps paid 1st class + registry fee for the period before/after April 1, 1943 (when 1c war tax was added to rates). The "Tank" has much more frequent use as a single stamp franking for this purpose.

Roy

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
27 Nov 2004
09:57:21pm
re: Canada 1942 rate question

Thanks, Roy. You are certainly the rate guru in Stamporama. I think I might have a cover illustrating that international airmail usage. Searching, searching, searching....
Yup, found it:

corvettecover

It was mailed July 13, 1942 by a woman in Montreal to her husband, a corporal in RCAF 419 Squadron, a highly decorated unit that flew Wellingtons, Halifax, and Lancaster bombers on raids over Germany. I probably got this cover from you, Roy.

Bob

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danjac
27 Nov 2004
10:42:53pm
re: Canada 1942 rate question

What do you think of the inscription in the top left corner. It seems to be written

91
ans

Would "ans" be the french translation for years? And why 91?

When we look at the scan, it seems that the writing was done with the same pen for the top inscription and the address.

I'm not very familiar with wartime mail.

Any clues?

Dan

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Bob Ingraham (Bobstamp)
27 Nov 2004
11:27:23pm
re: Canada 1942 rate question

I'm not sure, Dan, but I think it might have been a record kept by the recipient -- the 91st letter from his wife perhaps, with the "ans" indicating that he answered it. I've seen similar inscriptions on other covers.

A former member of Stamporama referred cover collecting as a "slippery slope" that he had so far avoided. Such questions as yours are part of that slippery slope. What happens to me when I am intrigued by a cover is start looking at it not from a philatelic point of view so much as a social/military history point of view.

In the case of this cover, I could quite happily start learning about the history of 419 Squadron. I've already checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site, which lists all known Commonwealth war dead, both civilian and military. W.W. Doherty is not listed, so we can probably assume that he not among the 51% of Canadian air crew who died in combat (assuming that he was part of a flight crew).

Bob

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danjac
28 Nov 2004
10:31:02am
re: Canada 1942 rate question

Thanks for the info Bob. As I said I have no real knowledge of wartime mail and that inscription did intrigue me.

I'll have to ask a friend of mine whose name happens to be William Doherty. He lives in Ontario and I believe he was in the airforce. Could it be??? Anyways, I'll try to get in touch with him and find out for sure.

Dan

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Jeffrey Wallace
28 Nov 2004
04:59:42pm
re: Canada 1942 rate question

Bob,

Cover collecting is a slippery slope and I find it extremely rewarding. So many aspects of stamp collecting come together on the cover:

1. Used - The used stamp is preserved in it's original context;

2. Delivery/Routes - For older covers with transit and receiver back stamps, one can determine the route and how long it took to deliver.

3. Postal rates - today, no one cares how much it costs to send a letter (it's too much), but historically, one can determine if the correct postage was paid, or perhaps over paid. Goes back to point 1, was the stamp correctly used.

4. Addressee - I've had pretty good success researching the back ground of the addressee. I have a cross-border letter addressed to the personal secretary of the Gov of Ohio. Turns out this Foos character was clerk of the Ohio Supreme Court, and held several high profile positions in his life. The cover is facinating in it's own right, but when it's coupled with a little 'social' research, it's more meaningful.

I guess I'm hooked.

Jeffrey

Lastly, here's another example of a 20c stamp. Air mail letter to Argentina, May 25, 1939, paying 35c. The rate was 35c per 1/4 oz.


CA_to_AR

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stamperdad
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29 Nov 2004
08:41:49am
re: Canada 1942 rate question

Jeff:

I am hooked also to the extent that most of my specialized collections are all covers. I like you love interpreting the story behind the cover.

I never thought that rates could be so interesting but am now convinced that knowing rates especially on international destinations makes the story even more fascinating with how the cover travelled and why.

Steve

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malcolm hirst
01 Dec 2004
10:05:55am
re: Canada 1942 rate question

An irrelevant point, but with the following values only, you can make up any rate with the minimum number of add-on stamps -1,2,5,10,20,50 ( 100ths of currency) - which is why almost every definitive series in the world will contain these values. Can this be the main reason why the 20c was issued? Bear in mind that some rates are particularly little used in small offices you need to have the ability to be able to have sufficient stamp values to be able to "construct" combinations without necessarily having all the rate values in stock or plastering the envelope with lots of paper ( think of the amount of gum to be licked )
Bear in mind that the above statement only applies where the rates are less than 100/100ths of currency- when we go above £1 or $1 or whatever it gets somewhat more complicated -but obviously in the case of the Canadian stamp mentioned this caveat does not apply.
Regards
Malcolm

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