This centennial commemorative issue of four postage stamps honoured the transfer in 1851 of the administration of postal service from Great Britain to British North America. The three low denominations emphasize the development of communications by land, water, and air, a feature of Canadian history closely related to the development of postal service. The fourth stamp in the series features the first postage stamp issued in 1851 by the Province of Canada. The first day of issue coincided with the stamp exhibition called CAPEX (Canadian Association for Philatelic Exhibitions). The Postmaster General, the Hon. G. Edouard Rinfret, K.C., M.P., was the Honorary President.
The central motif of the 15-cent stamp is a reproduction of the 1851 three- pence beaver design stamp designed by Sandford Fleming. This was the first 15-cent denomination since 1908. In 1951 the Department anticipated that the 15-cent denomination would be convenient to prepay postage on airmail letters to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Europe. The colour approximated the red of the original 1851 three-pence stamp.