Date of Issue
November 19, 1976
Ships of Canada, Inland Vessels
Series Time Span
1975 - 1978
Perforation or Dimension
12 x 12.5
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Tom Bjarnason. Engraved by Yves Baril.
The Inland Vessels stamps feature Canadian passenger steamers and a riverboat. In 1874, above Grand Rapids on the Saskatchewan River, the Hudson's Bay Company launched the Northcote, a Mississippi-style riverboat. River navigation was tricky because of the "rapids, sand bars, shallow channels, and irregular flow...". One steamer, for example, "went to the bottom with all hands aboard - in three feet of water." Shallows sometimes halted the Northcote halfway through a voyage, forcing her to dump cargo on shore. Despite this, and a mutiny, the ship succeeded because her costs were "no more than a fleabite" compared to cart transportation. Northcote acted as a Canadian gunboat and hospital ship during the Saskatchewan rebellion. She lost her smokestacks in combat at the Battle of Batoche. In 1886 Northcote was beached at Cumberland House where she slowly disintegrated. Tom Bjarnason's designs for this stamp have captured the elegance and gracefulness of these 19th century passenger vessels. They have a sense of aliveness and presence while preserving a visual continuity with the 1975 set of Coastal Ships stamps. The stamp were printed by a combination of one-colour steel engraving and nine-colour lithography, a method which renders faithfully the delicate line work and bright colour characteristics of Mr. Bjarnason's drawings, as well as showing the interesting detail of the ships' hulls and rigging.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1976.
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