Canada has a long and glorious maritime tradition which is well represented by the Beaver, the Neptune, the Quadra and the William D. Lawrence. These sea-going ships contributed to our safety, prosperity and independence. They are typical of an era in which the square rigged sailing ship had reached its zenith and steamships were achieving a record of reliable and efficient service. Alexander Stephens and Sons of Dundee built the steamer Neptune around 1873. This shipyard produced many of the "Wooden walls of Newfoundland". The Neptune engaged in the Newfoundland sealing industry. During her career she brought in over a million pelts. In 1884, the Canadian government chartered the Neptune for surveys in Hudson Bay. There was a proposal that a railway be built from the prairies to the Bay to open a new route for grain exports. An expedition set up ice observation posts and sought a potential railway terminus. Three years later, the government chartered the Neptune for the winter mail run to Prince Edward Island. The scheme failed because although the vessel could withstand ice pressure, she wasn't an icebreaker. Early in the twentieth century, Neptune returned to the Arctic to help establish Canadian sovereignty there. She sank in stormy weather in 1943 near St. John's. Tom Bjarnason of Toronto designed the ship stamps.