On April 23, 1851 the Province of Canada issued its first stamp when Great Britain gave the Province of Canada responsibility for its own postal system.
Although Canada was still considered a colony, this is considered by philatelists to be Canada’s first stamp. On this day Canada issued its first stamp which was designed by Scottish-Canadian man Sir Sanford Fleming, the man who gave the world the idea of time zones.
Known as the ‘the Canadian beaver stamp’, this stamp was denominated 3 pence. This red orange stamp features a Beaver Building a Dam. One of the early symbols of Canada, the beaver is a nocturnal animal that builds dams to create ponds that provide protection against its predators and to provide easy access to food sources during the winter months.
The 3d Beaver was the first in a series to be followed by six pence in May and 12 pence stamp in June. The 6d stamp featured the image of Prince Albert and the 12d stamp showed a full length portrait of Queen Victoria.
The stamp is significant in many ways. On only it is the first philatelic issue of the country, it is also the first official stamp anywhere to feature an animal and not a monarch.
Image Courtesy: https://www.historymuseum.ca