Boer War impact on Candians at home

This example of the WLS-P09 Type I “Soldiers of the Queen” design has been used by St. Luke’s Church Bible Class, on Montreal on March 1st, 1900, commemorating the involvement of classmates injured in the Boer War. The card states:

“Fall In! Dear Friends, Scholars, Past and Present Members of the Class, will kindly attend at ___, on Sunday, March 4, to express our sympathy and admiration for the three members of the Class who fought in the late action at Paardeberg, South Africa. Two of the Scholars are reported wounded. Come, and bring a friend!Yours Sincerely, Henry J. Dart. God Save the Queen!”

A hand-written notation on the card notes “one has since died”.

Map Stamp dated December 26, 1898

This J.C. Wilson patriotic postcard of The Flag That Braved design, WLS-P02 Type II, bears Canada’s first Christmas Stamp, the Map stamp. In this case, the postcard was postmarked December 26, 1898, tied with a Morris Street Halifax NS CDS postmark, and mailed to Cambridge Mass USA, thanking the recipient for “dainty & pretty” “Xmas gifts”.

The Canadian Post Office announced the availability of the Map Stamp on December 3rd, 1898. Early usage of the stamp on cover or postcard is quite rare. On December 25th, the Imperial Penny Postage Scheme came into effect, allowing postage of 2¢ per ounce on mail between Britain & the colonies.

It seemed fitting to post this card on the site 119 years to the day later.

WLS-P06 Type I update

I’ve update the WLS-P06 Type I page to the current site format, and added a number of business use examples.

J.C. Wilson advertising postcard

This example of a J.C. Wilson patriotic postcard shows a use by the company for promoting its patriotic postcard line to potential resellers. The text on the back of the card states: “Wilson’s Patriotic Cards & Envelopes; (4 designs) Cards $2.00 per 1000, Envelopes $3.00 per 1000, Sample 100 assorted sent by mail, post paid, 50¢”. The text appears on the back of the Anglo-Saxon design, WLS-P06 Type I, variety P-3, with the winking lion.

WLS-P01 Ad card

A very nice copy of WLS-P01 has been added, postally used with a 1¢ Jubilee stamp with a Halifax squared circle postmark dated July 22, 1897, about a month after the first appearance of this J.C. Wilson postcard design. What makes this more interesting is the use of the card as a notification that W.B. Day would be visiting a potential customer of W. & C. Silver of Halifax, with a full range of their dry goods, mantles and clothing four days hence.

Postcard Rates

The Postcard Postal Rates page has been re-introduced in the current site format, with some new material added.

Packet Boat cancel

A WLS-P02 Type II card has been posted December 21, 1901 with a 2¢ Jubilee stamp mailed from Saint John N.B. to Liverpool, England with a Liverpool Packet Boat cancel dated January 2. The image has been altered slightly in the area of the Packet Boat cancel in order to enhance legibility.

WLS-P02 Type I update

Another page has been updated to the current web site format. WLS-P02 Type I now illustrates more material and more depth than the previous format allowed.

Remember the Maine Return to Sender

This WLS-P05 J.C. Wilson & Co. “Remember the Maine” patriotic pioneer postcard has been mailed from Quebec City on December 16, 1901, with a 1¢ QV Numeral stamp to The Atlas Society in New York City. The card bears a rubber stamp noting “Returned to Sender, Cannot Be Forwarded” dated December 20, 1901. The card bears a December 21, 1901 Quebec City postmark upon its return.

J.J. Turner & Sons business use

This example of a WLS-P09 Type I “Soldiers of the Queen” design has been used for business use by J.J. Turner & Sons, Sail, Tent, Awning & Flag M’f’rs of Peterborough, Ontario. The Boer War-themed pioneer patriotic postcard was postmarked with a Peterborough July 11, 1901 CDS cancel on the front, and bears a Lindsay, Ontario squared circle cancel of the same date on the reverse.

This is not the only example of a J.C. Wilson patriotic used by J.J. Turner & Sons for their business. A copy of a WLS-P10 Soldiers of the Queen Redesign card was sold by auction in June 1987 by Jim Hennok. That card was postmarked July 20, 1901, 9 days after this card was used.

I’ve also converted the WLS-P09 Type 1 postcard listings to the current site format and added additional material.

WLS-P11 Tattered Flag

A very nice copy of J.C. Wilson’s Tattered Flag pioneer patriotic postcard from the Boer War era has been added to the site. This card, mailed from Montreal on March 21, 1902 to Crowell & Kirkpatrick Co. of New York, was received in New York on March 22nd.

WLS-P02—G.H. Lanigan

This example of a WLS-P02 J.C. Wilson postcard has been used by G.H. Lanigan, dealer in paper & stationery, bookbinder and printer, of 92 King Street West of Hamilton, Ontario.

I’ve been recently updating a number of the site’s pages to the most recent format, starting with the patriotic postcard section, and will continue working through with these updates.

WLS-P10 Soldiers Redesign unused

One of the rarest of J.C. Wilson’s patriotic postcards is the design known as WLS-P10, “Soldiers of the Queen Redesign”, which was issued during the Boer War. This particular example is unused.

Remember the Maine used to Switzerland

This example of a WLS-P05 postcard has been used from Brooklyn, NY, USA to Switzerland, postmarked March 17, 1899.

Soldier claiming medals

This copy of WLS-P02 Type II has been mailed on February 6, 1900 with a 1¢ Jubilee stamp by J.B. Harper of 26 Palace Street, Brantford, Ontario to Captain Stitt of Princeton, Ontario. Captain James Stitt of No. 4 Company, 22nd Battalion The Oxford Rifles (which was redesignated 3 months after this card was written on 8 May 1900 as the 22nd Regiment The Oxford Rifles), was a Private in the 22nd Battalion when he received the Canada General Service Medal for his role in the Fenian Raids in 1866. Harper asks Captain Stitt if Stitt could send him Harper’s medal, as he read in the newspaper that the medals had just come in. While the details of the medal are not mentioned, this may be a Boer-War-related medal.

Soldiers of the Queen to France

Another J.C. Wilson Soldiers of the Queen WLS-P09 Type I postcard mailed to France has been added, this time mailed from Hamilton Ontario to Bastia. The card bears a 1¢ QV Numeral stamp cancelled with a Hamilton Flag A cancel, applied over the words “Printed Matter”, with the sender striking out the “Private Post Card” text of the card.

Oshawa Business Use

This Rule Britannia WLS-P03 Type II design postcard, a late use (September 26, 1906 South Oshawa broken circle cancel) bearing a 2¢ Edward VII stamp that may originally have been an imperforate pair cut apart from the adjoining stamp (catalog number 90a Type II, shown by the wide gutter to the top of the card, with a partial carmine line as if from the adjacent stamp), has been mailed to Scotland via New York. The reverse of the card, shown here, depicts the Presbyterian Church, Oshawa, with a printed date line.

Old Glory American use

This WLS-P04 shows an early use of this design, postmarked June 11, 1898. The card bears a hand notation from Buffalo, suggesting that the purchaser may have either been on the Canadian side of the border when they purchased the card, or that J.C. Wilson had US distributors in Buffalo from an early date.

Boer War to Mimico, Ontario

I’ve posted a series of postcards mailed from the Boer War to Mimico, Ontario, likely from Capt. Dr. Henry Ernest Tremayne of the 10th Canadian Field Hospital, mailed with Army Field Post postmarks on a series of Klerksdorp Transvaal postcards on the subject of the Anglo-Boer War, mailed to his niece.

Contemporary Uses

I’ve added a section on postcards & covers contemporary to the J.C. Wilson era, primarily related to the Boer War. Some of this material was brought forward to conform to the new site design, while some additional material has been added, and some previous material is still awaiting update. The largest section of new material are the “Soldiers of Canada in South Africa” pioneer patriotic postcards by W.J. Gage.

Soldiers of the Queen to France

An example of a use of a WLS-P09 Type I postcard has been added, mailed from Montreal on February 24, 1901, to Castres, France.

Patriotic Postcard with Song Back

Another example of a J.C. Wilson patriotic postcard with a song back has been added. This card is a WLS-P06 Type I card, the Anglo-Saxon design, postally used from Wolfeville NS to the USA in July 1900.

Business Card Printings

One of the less common variations of J.C. Wilson & Company’s patriotic postcard printings that occurs across the range of different designs is a variation know as the “Business Card” printings. This variation omits the text “Private Post Card” and the stamp box & associated text that commonly occurs on the normal card printings (with the exception of WLS-P01).

This printing variation allowed businesses the opportunity to overprint the card face with their own advertisements without interference from the postally required printed text. A selection of this postcard variation has been added to the site.

Patriotic Postcard Song Backs

A variation of J.C. Wilson’s series of patriotic postcards exists that includes a scaled down version of a patriotic song on the postcard back, similar to that printed on the company’s patriotic envelopes. While Henry Gates was unfamiliar with this variation, Kenneth Rowe noted in his The Postal History of the Canadian Contingents, Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902, that he knew of a single example of “When Johnny Canuck Comes Home” being printed on the back of a postcard, but no other instance. Needless to say, this is a rarely occurring variety.

I’ve updated the section on patriotic postcards with song backs to include a new instance found on a WLS-P02 Type II that has patriotic song no. 2 on the reverse.

WLS-P01 Type I Business Use

This WLS-P01 Type I card has been used for business use by J.L. Peters of Digby, N.S., and has a full card ad on the reverse of the card, as well as the text shown here on the card front. While not postally used, the card is from the first of J.C. Wilson’s series of patriotic postcards, and is quite rare.

Business Use Postcard—G.B. Herrett

This J.C. Wilson & Co. pioneer patriotic postcard was used by G.B. Herrett, Manufacturers’ Agent, of Fredericton, N.B., on April 21, 1900. The card design is the Maple Leaf For Ever, Patria Amamus design designated as WLS-P08 Type I. The card bearing a QV 1¢ Numeral stamp with a Fredericton April 21, 1900 CDS cancel, mailed to Messrs. Humphreys & Gates, Petitcodiac, N.B.

Business Use Postcard

Bell, King & McLaren of Montreal, distributors of, among other things, strawberries, made use, on May 31, 1898, of a J.C. Wilson patriotic postcard, WLS-P06 Type I, Anglo-Saxon design, to advertise the availability of Maryland strawberries due on June 2nd.

J.C. Wilson Sample Display

J.C. Wilson & Co. developed a sample display card for their line of Patriotic Private Post Cards just after the issuance of their “Maple Leaf For Ever” and “What We Have We’ll Hold” designs. The display card was for the use by booksellers and stationers, the primary vendors to the public of J.C. Wilson’s postcards, to advertise the company’s wares. The display card contained eight postcards, including six patriotic cards two of their Sports & Pastimes series. The cards were advertised to the public at 10¢/dozen, while selling to the stationers at ¼¢ each, plus shipping.


Foreign Usage

I’ve reinstated the page of foreign use J.C. Wilson postcards in today’s update, along with a series of tweaks of various other pages within the site (which I will continue to do without specific reference in this section).

Sports & Pastimes Proof

In November 1898, J.C. Wilson & Co. issued a new series of postcards and envelopes entitled “The Sports & Pastimes of Canada”. As a preamble to issuing the series, the company mailed out advanced proofs to potential customers alerting them to the opportunity to submit advanced orders for the new series of cards & envelopes. I’ve added a postcard to the web site that was mailed in October 1898 to Geo. F. Waldron of Brentwood, New Hampshire, alerting them of a shipment being sent to them on the date of mailing of the postcard.

The proof varies slightly from the final postcard series, in that the colour of the ink used for the printer’s attribution and Private Post Card text on the front of the card was a shade of brown on the proof, while on the final series, the colour was changed to a blue-green colour. Card numbers also varied. The number on the proof of the card shows as 1, but in the final series, the design shown, Sculling & Swimming, was issued as card 14, with the card number near the top corner rather than the bottom margin on the proof.

I’ve also seen a copy of a proof of the Canoeing & Yachting design which was half way to the final issue, with the attribution text in brown, but the Private Post Card text changed to the final blue-green colour.