A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Newfoundland Pictorials

1865 Scott 24 2c green "Codfish"
"So thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them." 
1600 Era English Sea Captain
Quick History
It is appropriate that the first Newfoundland pictorial in 1865 celebrated the "Codfish".

Newfoundland Codfishing
Atlantic cod are found in the colder and deeper Northern Atlantic waters, but they were especially abundant off the coast of Newfoundland. Naturally, the Cod, weighing 10-25 lbs (5-12 kilograms), was a very important part of the Newfoundland fishing economy.

Atlantic Cod Landings
Unfortunately, overfishing lead to the collapse of the Newfoundland fisheries industry in 1992. Only now is there some return of commercial cod fishing.

The stamps of Newfoundland have been a mirror to the development and economy of the province through the 1865-1933 years. The stamps highlight the beauty of the natural environment, and the fishing, hunting, logging, and mining industries as they extract the natural resources.

This blog post will examine and celebrate the many lovely stamp pictorials of Newfoundland.

1897 Scott 63 3c ultramarine "Cape Bonavista"
Into the Deep Blue
Both engraved and lithographed, these little beauties of Newfoundland deserve a closer look. I say "little" deliberately, as many of the Newfoundland Pictorials are ~ 25 X 18 mm in size, only about 1/2 of the area of the iconic Canada Bluenose. But, by enlarging the scans presented here, one can enjoy more fully these pieces of miniature art.

A closer look at the Newfoundland Pictorials
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1866)
1865 Scott 25 5c brown "Harp Seal"
The "Harp Seal", an earless seal,  was also featured on the early 1865 pictorials. The scientific name (Papophilius groenlandicis) means "ice lover from Greenland", and they are found throughout the very northern Atlantic Ocean.

Harp Seals
There is, even today, a commercial seal hunting season in Newfoundland. Fortunately, the Harp Seal is still relatively abundant.

1887 Scott 48 2c red orange "Codfish"
Between 1880-1896, three stamps with  a new "Codfish" design were released. The 2c yellow green, and the 2c green were issued in 1880 and 1896 respectively, while the 2c red orange was produced in 1887. 

1887 Scott 54 5c dark blue "Seal"
Also in 1887, a new dark blue "Seal" design stamp was produced. Additionally, major numbers were given by Scott for the 1880 5c pale blue and the 1894 5c bright blue color variants.  The preceding design for the "Harp Seal" had been criticized for showing "claws" rather than flippers. Apparently, the "Harp Seal" artist had never actually seen a seal.

1897 Scott 64 4c olive green "Caribou Hunting"
Reindeer are known as "Caribou" in North America.

Reindeer (red) and caribou (green) map
Part of the Deer family, Caribou were obviously a source of meat and hides in Newfoundland.

Caribou in Alaska
Still relatively widespread and numerous in parts, my brother, who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, has participated in many a caribou hunt. ;-)

1897 Scott 65 5c violet "Mining"
Mining was a major resource for the economy of Newfoundland. One can still find Newfoundland mines extracting nickel, iron ore, copper, zinc, cobalt, antimony, and gold.

1897 Scott 66 6c red brown "Logging"
What hard toil! During the winter, the logs were hauled over the snow by sled. Teamsters worked from five in the morning until eight in the evening. They could rest on Sunday. 

1897 Scott 69 12c dark blue "Willow Ptarmigan"
The Willow Ptarmigan is found in Alaska, Northern Scandinavia, Siberia, and Canada, especially Newfoundland. It is considered a game bird.

1897 Scott 70 15c scarlet "Seals"
Seal Oil and hides were produced before the era of the Steamers. By 1850, 25% of the export economy of Newfoundland was seal products. But, by 1900, this had dropped to less than 10%.

1897 Scott 73 35c red 
"Iceberg off St. John's"
10,000 icebergs are calved into the North Atlantic Ocean each year from the tidewater glaciers of West Greenland. The icebergs that appear off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland are from that source.

 1910 Scott 94 9c olive green "Logging Camp"
Paper companies employed up to 9,000 loggers each year.

Bunkhouses were dirty, and privacy was virtually nonexistent with 20-100 workers accommodated, and only a few washbasins and outdoor toilets. If a worker wanted a mattress, he needed to rent one from the company for 25 cents a month.

Food was plentiful, but consisted of beans for breakfast and lunch, and bread, fish, salt beef or pork, pea soup, porridge, and tea.

1910 Scott 95 10c violet black "Paper Mills"
White Pine was used by the lumbering industry, but the forests of Newfoundland also had plenty of pulpwood- balsam fir, white and black spruce, and larch. The mill at Grand Falls, completed in 1909, had an initial daily capacity of 120 tons.

1919 Scott 123 12c orange "Caribou"
The Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, founded in 1900, contributed 1000 men to the WW I war efforts.

The 1919 "Trail of the Caribou" issue, 12 stamps, inscribes on each stamp the name of a different action that Newfoundland troops took part in during WW I.

1923 Scott 137 8c dull violet 
"Quidi Vidi, near St. John's"
"Kiddy Viddy" is a historic fishing village - and obviously picturesque! ;-)

1923 Scott 139 10c dark violet
"Humber River Canyon"
The Humber River, which flows to the ocean,  is still one of the leading Atlantic salmon rivers in North America.

1928 Scott 149 5c slate green "Express Train"
The Newfoundland Railway was the longest narrow gauge railway in North America (906 miles) as it crossed the island of Newfoundland between 1898-1988.

1928 Scott 150 6c ultramarine 
"Newfoundland Hotel, St. John's"
The 8-story brick Newfoundland Hotel opened in 1926 in St. John's. From 1939-1949, the 6th floor was home to the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland; and in 1949, ownership of the Hotel was transferred to the Canadian National Railway.

1928 Scott 159 30c olive green
"Grand Falls, Labrador"
The Exploits River is now dammed at Grand Falls for hydroelectric generation. Lovely scene though.

1932 Scott 194 14c intense black
"Newfoundland Dog"
"Newfies" have a water resistant coat and webbed feet. They can weigh as much as 260 lbs, with a span of 6 feet between nose and tail. A gentile giant.

1932 Scott 197 25c gray
"Sealing Fleet"
The sealing fleet out of St. John's encompassed as many as 400 vessels in the early 1800's. To find their catch, they had to enter the ice floes off Newfoundland's north coast. Dangerous work.

1932 Scott 210 24c light blue
"Loading Iron Ore at Bell island"
Bell Island iron ore was shipped from 1895- 1966, and supplied the Sydney, Nova Scotia Steel Mills.

Having spent my childhood in Duluth, Minnesota, with the Iron Range sending its iron ore to the docks in Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior, the scene above is familiar indeed!

1933 Scott 219 9c ultramarine
"The Ships arriving at St. John's"
Sir Humphrey Gilbert was a half-brother to Sir Walter Raleigh, and was an adventurer and explorer during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was instrumental in the exploration and colonization of North America, specifically Newfoundland in 1583.

Deep Blue
1932-37 Issue in Deep Blue
It is nice to have a space for every major number for Newfoundland. Deep Blue (Steiner) provides that luxury. ;-)
1923 Scott 138 9c slate green
"Caribou Crossing Lake"
Big Blue
One of the most beautiful scenes every put to stamps- "Caribou Crossing Lake". The stamp is also the second most expensive (CV $20+) of the 1923-24 14 stamp series. Fortunately, it made it into Big Blue. ;-)

1928 Scott 146 2c deep carmine  "Steamship Caribou"
Out of the Blue
I hope you enjoyed the focus on the Newfoundland pictorials- and the stories they tell. ;-)

Note: Newfoundland themed pics and chart appear to be in the public domain.

Like comments!


  1. Like it, like it, like it.... Your Newfoundland collection is definitely much more comprehensive than mine. But I noted that most of these (as well as the ones from the previous post) appear mint/unused. Is that by choice, or is it simply a fact that most of these are easier to find/collect that way.

    All in all stamps of Newfoundland are somewhat uncommon to find in Europe. Same applies for classic US as well, so likely most copies are circling in the American continent.


  2. Good to hear from you Keijo

    The choice of unused/used was made for me when I had the opportunity to obtain a Newfoundland collection several years ago. LOL

    Newfoundland is a popular "dead' country to collect, both in Canada and the U.S. I don't doubt that most of the material is on this side of the pond.

  3. Thanks for the great blog and great post Jim. Like you I collect stamps of the classic era. More than any others in my collection the stamps from Newfoundland really give me a strong sense of place, none more so than those early seal and codfish issues. I'd love to make the trip from Australia some day but in the meantime at least I have the stamps! Thanks again.

  4. Peter - welcome ( and thank you) to a fellow classical era collector.

    The Newfoundland stamps- aren't they something?

    I see you are from Australia - one of my favorite places too, and i've been lucky enough to have spent some time in the outback looking at your incredible southern dark skies and constellations.

  5. OT- Jim, I tried to contact you via an email address but could not find one. I would like to request the permission to use some of the images on your website for an academic journal. How can I contact you outside the comment box?
    Thank you and kind regards from Germany

  6. Hello Nicole

    Jkjoregon is the first part.

    @comcast.net is the second part.

    Look forward to your request, Nicole.

  7. Jim, this is one of the most enjoyable pages on your blog. Heh, I might even consider collecting stamps again! Nearing the 60 mark, I left serious collecting back in high school. Oh, to be sure, I still have my collection in my 1936 "red" book, the ultra common world wide book that was given me back in the '60s. Obviously my rather thin collection concentrates on the ultra common stamps from the late 19th century to ww2. I have Scotts green United States book, but a high school kid could hardly afford those spaces from the 1850s, and the Columbian Expo issues were unobtanum for us beyond the very inexpensive low denom issues. But I never lost my love for philately, it stayed with me as a commercial artist and now owner of a custom letterpress shop! All my designs are influenced by the awesome exacting examples of classic postal ephemera that I fell sonin love with frome age five, through my serious collecting years in school in Germany and later here in the United States. In fact, in 2007 my shop released a centennial Christmas Seal honoring Emily Bissel's first 1907 design, released via the post office at the Florida Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts! Good Providence to you as you continue your journey via the Big Blue, and I will continue to vicariously enjoy the journey with you. You might see some of our letterpress work, including the Centennial Christmas Seal at my educational blog at www.gjohanson.blogspot.com .

  8. Fantastic Letterpress blog Gary!

    I love books that were printed in various letterpress type, especially the books where the letterpress is essentially art.( Perhaps that is why I am also drawn to engraved stamps.)

    The "red" album- the Scott "Modern Postage Stamp Album " ,with an airplane flying over a skyscraper scene, was my father's album, and I remember being drawn to the contents as a kid.

    I hope you do succumb eventually to our little hobby too: after all, stamps are little pieces of art ( and history and propaganda).

    Thanks for the comments, and I will keep an eye on your blog posts too.

  9. Great post Jim. You have this really inspiring way of writing about stamps. Mind if I link to this post from my upcoming profile on Newfoundland?

    1. Thanks Gerben.

      Sure, absolutely no problem with a post link.

      About the non functioning link for Bill Claghorn's forgery site about the Newfoundland 4p Spiro forgery- alas, the site seems to be gone.

      I will have to delete the link - darn! Thanks for alerting me to the no longer active link.

      All the best