Newfoundland Airmail Postage Rates 1937-1949


As we are preparing the Canadian Airmail Rates chapter for the upcoming The Airmails of Canada and Newfoundland Catalog I made the mistake of suggesting that we might look at Newfoundland rates as well. Chris jumped on that. It happens Jack Ince had searched the Newfoundland Post Office Circular that was published between 1937 and 1949 for air mail information.  He made Xerox copies of appropriate pages and used the "real" cut and paste method to make it into a book meant for sale from the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society.  I took this book and did some photo editing to improve readability and then subjected it to OCR.  There were lots of little OCR errors that I had to fix but it looks fairly good at this point. Of course every time I go over it I find a few more little bugs.

One point I noticed was that before 1942 most of the rates were Air Mail Fees that needed to be added to the Ordinary (surface) Postage. It wasn't obvious what the value of these ordinary rates were and Jack had not searched for these. I contacted the research desk of the Queen Elizabeth II Library in St. John's and the librarian Joan Ritcey there kindly offered to go through the 2000 or so pages of the Post Office Circular (POC) held in that library (but not as yet subjected to OCR).  I also looked through the library's collection of Newfoundland Almanacs that are now in online digital form. Finally there were some rates to UPU countries that were in early issues of the POC but not in later ones.  For this I consulted Robert Dalton Harris's book on UPU rates with the help of Diane DuBlois. This effort gave us the table of "ordinary postage" that can be found on the last page of this book. There are a few small variations in this table compared with the tables in Walsh's Newfoundland catalog.

So I just uploaded this somewhat improved copy of Jack's book on the Aerophilately Yahoo Group.  Hope some of you find it useful.

This effort provides us with a 30 page book.  The object originally was to fit it into the AMCN catalog. That book as it is right now being assembled is pretty thick. Thirty more pages would not work well. It happens that most of the bulk of the book is tables which can, with some grief, be condensed. For example a two column table that takes up a whole page can be made into a six column table that fits into 1/3rd of a page in many instances. I did a little test and it looks like I might be able to condense it to 10-13 pages.  Hmmmm.

David Crotty

Join to automatically receive all group messages.