Dead Letter Office Handstamps 1874-1954 (Col)
Dead Letter Office Handstamps 1874 to 1954, 2008 by Gary W. Steele. BNAPEX 2008 Grand Award winning exhibit on handstamps used in the Dead Letter Office. BNAPS Exhibit Series #51. Colour version. Spiral bound, 164 pp.
Gary Steele started collecting stamps after a little girl in grade four brought her stamp album to school. Little did she know the impact this would have on her classmate. Following discussions in the 1970s with the late Ken MacDonald, a specialist of the Arch Issue, Gary moved on from single country collections of Canada and United States to specializing in Canada’s 1937 -1938 Mufti issue.
After moving to Calgary in 1980 Gary met Ed Harris and Sam Nickle at the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) Calgary Regional Group meetings and joined BNAPS in 1983. The specialization in King George VI postal history piqued Gary’s interest in other areas such as Dead Letter Office handstamps and Canadian short-paid covers to foreign destinations. Conversations with Allan Steinhart and production of a short-lived DLO Study Group Newsletter brought together others with similar interests such as Brian Plain, Marc Eisenberg and Michael Rixon.
Brian’s book, The Dead Letter Office in Canada 1830 – 2002, (BNAPS, 2006) allowed Gary to push further into the realm of Dead Letter Office handstamps. The first frame of this exhibit was entered in the single frame category at the Royal 2008 Royale show in Quebec City and received a Gold award. Gary then expanded the exhibit to 10 full frames for the BNAPEX 2008 NOVAPEX show in Halifax where it received a Gold award from the jury. At the BNAPEX 2008 NOVAPEX closing dinner on 31 August 2008 Gary was very surprised and pleased to learn that his exhibit had won the Horace Harrison Grand Award. As is BNAPS’ custom, winners of Grand and Reserve Grand award at BNAPEX shows are automatically asked to permit their exhibits to be printed as part of the BNAPS Exhibit series of books. Gary agreed and this volume is the result.