Canada International Mail, 1873/74 to 1898 (Col)
Routes, Rates, and Regulations: Canada’s International Mail, 1873/74 to 1898, 2013 by Murphy, Brian. A fascinating study of late 19th century postal history illustrated by outgoing and incoming letters between Canada and over 100 different countries. Colour version. Spiral, 184 pp.
Brian Murphy writes, “Explanation and illustration of Canada’s 19th century international mail is limited by the low survival rate of material. One solution, pioneered before 1966 by Charles de Volpi, is to include covers into Canada from other countries. These inward covers were carried on the same routes as Canada’s outward covers, often at the equivalent of the same rate, and almost without exception handled by the same “Regulations”. Including inward covers doubles what one can collect and exhibit! This collection has covers (or post cards) to 62 destinations, not counting Britain and the United States; additionally it has covers from 91 origins. In all, covers that connected Canada with another 113 countries and colonies, in addition to Britain and the States, are exhibited here.”
Brian’s exhibit, Routes, Rates, and Regulations: Canada’s International Mail, 1873/74 to 1898, was shown during development at various exhibitions. At BNAPEX 2001 in Ottawa it received a Gold medal and The Ed and Mickey Richardson Award, sponsored by the BNAPS Prairie Beavers Regional Group and given annually for the exhibit best representing one or more of research, originality, innovativeness, presentation. After much additional material was added the exhibit was shown at ORAPEX 2012 where it again received a Gold medal. For this volume ten pages of new material have been added to the 2012 exhibit.
Brian Murphy began collecting in Halifax as a child in the 1950s, when he was given a collection of world stamps formed in the 1930s by an uncle who was killed in World War II. Brian still uses his uncle’s 1936 Scott catalogue to help identify stamps on covers when buying for this collection. In 1959, his family moved to Toronto where, in the heyday of stamp stores in that city, he and friends would regularly different dealers by bicycle. Brian spent – or mis-spent as he puts it – four years of his youth between school and university, travelling in Australasia, Asia, and Africa. One result of that travel was increased interest in many – perhaps all – countries, and in the global social order. Soon his cover collecting was increasingly of mail between Canada and the rest of the world. In the subsequent four decades, he has yet to escape that pattern of collecting, leading to the collection shown in this volume.
Now retired from Library and Archives Canada, Brian divides his time between Ottawa and Lunenburg County Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Martha are preserving a largely unaltered 18th Century house. They have three grown sons.