Postal Hitory Society of Canada

About the PHSC

Originally founded in 1972 as the Postal History Society of Ontario, our name was changed to the current one in June 1977. This reflects the expanded nature and scope of the Society, which promotes the study of the postal history of Canada and its provinces. It is a non-profit society whose members are students of postal history at all levels of experience, and it promotes communication among members.

Currently, the Society publishes a quarterly, the PHSC Journal, whose contents vary from fully-researched feature articles to items of current interest. Articles over the full spectrum of BNA postal history---from the pre-stamp era through the various postmark specialties, meters, local and regional histories, to modern postal coding. Each issue carries a balance of material of interest to members. Since 1982, the Society has offered two annual awards to writers on postal history: the Stan Shantz Award is presented annually to the author of the article deemed most worthy in the PHSC Journal, and the Frank W. Campbell Award for major contributions to the study of BNA postal history in other publications.

Members may avail themselves of the inexpensive advertising in the Journal, either classified or display. For local stamp clubs, the Society makes available its Certificate of Merit and show ribbon for competitive exhibitions. The Society also presents its Citation of Merit at its discretion to individuals who have shown extraordinary activity in the promotion of BNA postal history, or by furthering the field of postal history studies like the prix timbre.

Every year, the Society holds meetings at stamp shows across Canada. The Annual Meeting is held in the summer, and is supplemented by Regional Meetings, usually accomplished by postal history seminars given by a prominent member of the Society.

The Society has several study groups devoted to the detailed examination of specialized aspects of postal history. In addition, via its Allan Steinhart Memorial Fund, it provides support for research in postal history. The Ritch Toop Memorial Award is offered at most annually at each of the national level shows in Edmonton and Ottawa for the best military postal history exhibit of sufficiently high quality.

Doug Murray
PHSC President

Censored Mail in Canada

In the current issue there are two articles that discuss the censoring of mail to or from Canada. One of these articles, about trans-Pacific mail, is reproduced on the Journal page. Other articles of interest include the postal history of Port Hood island, off the coast of Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia, and mail originating from the Antarctic expeditions of the Lady Franklin

Study Groups

Study Group newsletters continue to flow across the editor's desk. It constantly amazes me how specialized we have become in our favourite hobby. Many of our study groups deal with the modern aspect of philately and yet relatively few articles are submitted to the Journal that would fall into that category. I would like to assure all of our readers that we really do want to span the whole spectrum and encourage you to make that happen.

Coming Events

April 22, 2006 - STAMPFEST 2006
STAMPFEST 200, sponsored by the Kitchener-Waterloo Philatelic Society, will be held at the Community Christian Reformed Church, 1275 Bleams Rd., Kitchener, Ontario. The Show and Bourse with 18 dealers in attendance will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Free admission. Everyone is welcome! For more information phone (519) 743-9482.

The annual bourse and exhibition will be held at the Union Centre, 275 Broadway Ave., Winnipeg. Free Admission, 10+ Dealer Bourse, 50+ Frames of Exhibits, Youth Area, Annual Show Cover, Seminars, BNAPS, etc.

For information check the website

May 6 & 7, 2006 - ORAPEX 2006
ORAPEX 2006, Ottawa's National Stamp Exhibition, the 45th Annual RA Stamp Club Exhibition and Bourse, will be held in the RA Centre Curling Rink. Show hours are Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. The address is RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. The theme is "A Tribute to the RCAF Snowbirds".

Those wishing to exhibit should contact Tom Hare at For bourse data contact Alain Racicot at Admission and parking are free. Dick Malott, publicity officer at

The PHSC will be holding its annual meeting at ORAPEX on Saturday May 6, 2006 at 1PM and our guest speaker will be Gus Knierim.

The Machine Cancel Study Group, whose mandate covers the entire spectrum of Canadian machine cancels, will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with ORAPEX 2006, in Ottawa on Saturday, May 6, at 5:00 p.m. Organizers hope that as many of its members as possible will attend.

The IMCRSC (International Machine Cancel Research Society of Canada) will have a general meeting at ORAPEX (Saturday May 6, 11am).

August 31 - September 3, 2006 - BNAPEX 2006
BNAPEX 2006 will be held at the Holiday Inn, Sudbury, ON. Members' exhibits; study group seminars; local tours; dealer's bourse; awards banquet; spousal activities, etc.

Contact Harry Machum (705) 368-2212, Box 123, Little Current, ON P0P 1K0; or John Frith (705) 682-0213, Box 286, Copper Cliff, ON, P0M 1N0 or e-mail

View the society's website at

September 6-10, 2006 - Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain
The Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain Annual Convention will be held at Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, Wales.

For further information contact John Wright, 12 Milchester House, Staveley Road, Meads, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN 20 7JX, United Kingdom.

September 15-17, 2006 - NOVAPEX
Atlantic Canada's Premiere National Stamp Exhibition and Bourse. Dartmouth Sportsplex, 110 Wyse Rd., Dartmouth, NS. Friday 2 pm to 8 pm, Saturday 9:30 am to 5 pm, Sunday 9:30 am to 3 pm. The show features 160 exhibit frames, 20 dealer tables, youth table and more. Free admission and parking. or contact Michael Peach, 1-902-832-1662,

September 29 - October 2, 2006, ROYAL 2006 ROYALE
The Calgary Philatelic Society will host the National Show of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada at the Coast Plaza Hotel, 1316 33 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta.

For information contact Jan Brookes, (403) 251-1769 or check our website at



The PHSC welcomes new members. Please download and complete the membership application HERE.

Send membership applications or change of address to: Stéphane Cloutier, 255 Shakespeare Street, Ottawa, ON K1L 5M7 or email to

Memberships dues, including the PHSC Journal, are currently Cdn $25 per year in Canada, Cdn $35 per in the US, and Cdn $40 per year in other countries

Book Reviews

Catalogue of Canadian Duplex Cancellations
Catalogue of Canadian Duplex Cancellations, Third Revised Edition, by Stéphane Cloutier, spiral bound, 228 pages, 8˝ x 11 inches. Published by Conestoga Press, Thornbury, Ontario.

Stéphane Cloutier has updated the duplex catalogue that was published by Bob Lee in 1993. For those not owning the previous editions, this catalogue lists every known duplex cancelling device used in Canada, from the 1860 Berri duplexes to those still in use. Each is given a three-letter–numeral code, with the letters based upon the province where it was used. Each hammer is described so that it can be identified, and the proof, early use, and late use dates are listed. The early and late dates have been amended for many of the hammers, especially for those used in the cities...

Machine Cancels of Berlin, Kitchener, Kitchener-Waterloo
A Study of the Machine Cancels of Berlin , Kitchener , Kitchener-Waterloo - N2C 2E0 & N2E 2C0, 1907-1992, by Robert D. Vogel. Conestoga Press, Thornbury, 2004; pp. xviii + 154, spiral bound

The book begins with an overview of machine-cancel terminology, and an introduction which shows illustrations of impressions made by all the types of machines used in Berlin/Kitchener, with details of their manufacturers, and when the particular machines(s) arrived in the area. These range from the earliest (International) right up to the modern international Peripheral Systems (IPS) machines; this reviewer was previously unaware that the latter company is in fact a recent incarnation of the former. The book then continues ...

BNA Fakes, Forgeries & Counterfeits
Reference Manual of BNA Fakes, Forgeries & Counterfeits, Series II - Release 3, "A Detailed Study of the Western Canada Postal History Proof Book Cancel Fakes"

When Joe Smith recently deleted an increasing number of spurious Western postmarks on stamps being sold on eBay, he got in touch with Ken Pugh, who has written extensively in the past on Canadian philatelic fakes and forgeries. The result is this timely book. At the outset, we can observe that it is most unfortunate that such a volume ever became necessary, but given the number of faked items that have come to light, we can certainly agree with Pugh that ...

Canada at War and Peace
December 31st, 2001 - "Canada at War and Peace, II: A Millennium of Military Heritage"

Recently I was on a campaign to draw attention to Canada's Hong Kong veterans, their part in the defense of Hong Kong, its 60th anniversary from December 8th to 25th, 2001, and the terrible 1377 days the survivors spent as Japanese prisoners of war. I was also promoting the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association and its objectives to ensure that people "Never Forget" what the 1973 men and 2 nurses of "C" Force endured. While doing so ...

Steamboat Mails of Eastern Canada
December 30th, 2002 - "The Steamboat Mails of Eastern Canada"

Bob Parsons' new book is in some ways a stunning work, which unfortunately suffers from several flaws. Before discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the book, let me give a brief outline of its contents. It is divided into nine chapters and ...

Ontario Post Offices
June 30th, 2002 - "Ontario Postal Update" - A work in progress

The work is being done county by county, and so far Gus has worked on Bruce (8 pages), Dufferin (4 pages), and Haliburton (3 pages) Counties, and Manitoulin (3 pages) and Nipissing (7 pages) Districts. This is of course a long-term and ongoing project with an ...

Klussendorf Cancellations
March 31st, 2002 - "The Canadian Klussendorf Cancellations", 2nd Edition

Greig Hutton has written a second edition of his Klussendorf cancellation monograph. The first (1988) edition had 184 pages, with only two fo three pages of text. The remainder of the book was devoted to individual listings, in detail, of the known Klussendorf machine cancels, a 41-page listing of ...

Squared Circle Cancellations
December 31st, 2001 - "The Squared Circle Cancellations of Canada", Fifth Edition

This book continues in the tradition of the previous handbooks, and essentially updates the fourth edition with new information obtained from the study group over the last twenty years. In addition the editor, Mr. John S. (Jack) Gordon (study group editor since 1996), has added value to the user by discussing the relative commonness of the time marks, listing those stamps on which the collector is likely to ...

Muskoka District Offices
September 30th, 2001 - "The Companion Guide to Muskoka District Offices: 1861-1999"

Here is a book that all Ontario postal history collectors will require, and other Canadian collectors will find valuable. Sue Sheffield has assembled a handbook that describes virtually every facet of the postal history of the ...

Postal Stationary of Canada and Newfoundland
June 30th, 2001 - "Webb's Postal Stationary Catelogue of Canada and Newfoundland", 7th Edition

To say the least, this new edition of Webb's in an absolute must for anyone even casually interested in postal stationary. In fact, I think it will make such collectors become serious adherents to this fascinating facet of our hobby, because of the more than 1100 large illustrations. Several dozen of these clearly show the many different varieties, dies, types, linings, and envelope knives that collectors, including myself, often find difficult and discouraging to ...

Contact Us

For membership information refer to the membership page.

For changes to the website please contact We will be happy to post any relevant coming events.