Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A guy dropped by my place late last night with a small box of old Newfoundland postal stamps he recently found when tearing down an old home. He knew i was a collector and wanted to know if his recently found treasure was worth money. The majority of the stamps had been on postal covers and some still had the paper around them after being cut out. Several were mint and might of been worth a few dollars and i encouraged him to check them out. Like most in the province he thought all of the old Newfoundland stamps had long disappeared and was surprised that i had accumulated thousands of them over the years. (plenty of duplicates because only about 300 were issued) so today just in case someone might be interested i'll post a bit of Newfoundland Postal History.
Prior to 1809 mail on the island was handled by a few private individuals who would carry it for a fee. Most mail went by ships since overland routes around the island was scarce. Delivery when it occurred depended largely on the integrity of the ships masters or individuals who carried it. Newfoundland's first postmaster was a local watch maker and Jeweller from St. Johns appointedin 1809 by Governor John Holloway. When Simon passed away his son William became postmaster and around that time the first postage stamps were issue but not used by the public here until 1857.
The Dominion of Newfoundland had a few firsts for stamps, one being the first to issue a stamp featuring a dog. Starting in 1919 the Dominion issued its first airmail stamps and they became much sought after by collectors. A 1927 DePinedo airmail can fetch up to $100,000.oo by collectors. A full collection of Newfoundland stamps is hard to come by and i doubt if one exists. When viewing the stamps a person can see Newfoundland history, politics, natural resources and the geography of a nation that no longer exists. The last Newfoundland postage stamp was released on the 450th anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland,June 24/1947. The stamps remained valid and can still be used but very few do so today. On special occasions i have sent them to friends on special covers i make up myself.