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The 2c Carmine

According to the Post Office circular quoted in our last chapter the issue of the 2c stamp in carmine—or red, as the color was officially termed—was to begin when the supply of surcharged 3c stamps was exhausted. The new 2c stamp was eventually placed on sale on August 20th, 1899, and it is, of course, exactly like the same value previously issued in purple in all respects except that of color. The same plates were used and later many new ones were put to press. No acc

rate record of the different plates used for this denomination has been kept but, in addition to plates 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 listed by Mr. Howes, there were probably many others.

In 1900 Canada followed the lead of many other countries by issuing the 2c value in convenient booklet form. The Postmaster-General's Report for 1900 refers to these booklets as follows:—

In the month of June, 1900, the department commenced the issue to Postmasters, of a small book of 2 cent postage stamps, containing 12 stamps, disposed on two sheets of 6 stamps each, and interleaved with wax paper to prevent adhesion of the sheets. The size of the book is such as to make it convenient to be carried in the pocket or pocket-book. Printed on the cover is postal information calculated to be of interest to the public. The price at which the book is issued is 25 cents, one cent over the face value of the stamps being charged to cover the cost of binding, etc.

These stamp books were first placed on sale on June 11th and they rapidly came into public favor as is evidenced by the increasing sales every year since. Mr. Howes tells us that “the books are about two by three inches in size, with stiff cardboard covers which are bound together by red cloth. The coat-of-arms of Canada with the words CANADA POSTAGE beneath are engraved in red on the front cover, while inside are four pages of postal information and the two sheets of six stamps each—three horizontal pairs—backed by leaves of paraffined tissue paper.”

Reference List.

Aug. 20th, 1899. Engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Co., Ottawa. No Wmk. Perf. 12.

  • 75.  2c  carmine, Scott's No. 86.