Wayne Smith has compiled the following:
This page provides a link to the latest version of each census. The Censuses will be updated
periodically as new information becomes available. The author invites comments, corrections,
and updates. His email address is:
This census encompasses over 4,500 Pence Issue covers. It is presented in two ways:
Courtesy Eastern Auctions Ltd.
This is a census of covers with 1859 Cents Issue stamps used after the Large Queen stamps were issued on April 1, 1868.
Courtesy Ron Majors
This is a census of 1868 Large Queen covers, over 7,800 of them, sorted by postal rate and destination. It begins with domestic mail (almost 5,000 covers), and then lists foreign mail to Newfoundland and PEI (86 covers), United States (almost 1,500 covers), Great Britain (over 1,000 covers), and other foreign destinations broken down by country (almost 250 covers).
In March 1857, 50 four-ring cancellers with a numeral inside the rings were distributed to post offices in Canada East and Canada West. In May 1860, several of the post offices were issued a duplex hammer consisting of both a dater and canceller, which they favoured over the four-ring hammer because it made processing mail much faster. During the last week of March 1869, about half the four-ring hammers were replaced by new two-ring hammers.
This census catalogues the four-ring numeral cancels found both on and off cover. It lists the number of cancels by the numeral in the cancel (1 to 52, 6 and 9 not issued) and by the stamp issue it occurs on (Pence, Cents, Large Queen, Small Queen) as well as stampless covers. For each numeral, the earliest and latest recorded dates are given. Over 3,000 covers are recorded, not including Small Queen covers.
The Large Queen definitives were issued on 1 April 1868. Two-ring numeral cancels began appearing almost a year later in late March 1869, and continued into the Small Queen period. The obliterators were issued to 60 post offices.
This list of the earliest recorded dates updates Table IV-14 in the book by H. E. and H. W. Duckworth, The Large Queen Stamps of Canada and Their Use.
In 1860, the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island received a set of hammers with a grid design numbered from 1 to 36. The earliest recorded use is New Westminster’s “1” in bars in blue ink used on cover mailed about 1 Sept 1860. The cover has no dispatch date but has a SEP 10/60 receiver in San Francisco.
There is no known official documentation on the distribution of the hammers. The post offices to which some were sent are still unknown today. For four hammers, 6, 11, 17, and 25, not a single strike is known.
This is a census of the known use of these grid hammers.
Wayne Smith and Charles Verge
The New Brunswick numeral grid cancels were in use from 1853 to the Edwardian period. The cancel consists of 14 thin, vertical lines enclosed in an oval. Several lines at the right end are broken to allow for a one- or two-digit number.
The grid numerals go from 1 to 39, although one of them, 36, is currently unknown, and another, 37, is known only off cover. On cover, the quantities range from close to 300 for grid 1 (Saint John) to just one known example for several post offices.
This census provides a detailed list of the 993 known covers with numeral grid cancels. It also compiles the known off-cover cancels. The authors found 2,024 examples, but admit that there are undoubtedly many more. Besides the census itself, the document provides background information about the postal rates of the time and the origin and use of the hammers. It also lists the source material (auction catalogues, price lists, and articles by previous researchers) used to compile the census.
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This page was last modified on 2021-06-19