1886 Merchants' Bank of Halifax

The earliest cover in my study, the Merchants’ Bank of Halifax had 22 branches and 64 employees in 1886.
1886 (DE 28) Truro, NS to Upper Stewiacke, Colchester Co. NS which is roughly 20 miles from Truro.  3˘ small queen (orange red, Montreal printing) paying the 3 cent domestic letter rate tied by 3 ring target obliterator.    

1899 Merchants' Bank of Halifax

A Merchants' Bank of Halifax branch-to-branch stationery cover, mailed from Montreal on July 24, arriving in Victoria on the 29th (a Saturday), six days later. The Montreal branch was opened in 1887 and Victoria in 1897.  During the 1890s, the bank adopted a conservative approach to growth, opening only a few branches as a result of "the continuous commercial depression".  However, by 1896 the economy was turning around and BC was experiencing a mining boom.  On this, the Merchants' vaulted over Ontario and the Prairies to open branches in Vancouver, Victoria, Rossland and several in the interior to service the mining economy[1].
Merchants' 1899 cover  

Flag cancel

Due to the fine and somewhat light impression left by the flag design, the flag was reinforced with two parallel bars in April 1898 to ensure  stamps were sufficiently cancelled, as this cover clearly shows.[2]

Flag Type F8 - Die III

1899 (JUL 24) Montreal to Victoria, 2˘ 'Numeral' paying the 2 cents per ounce domestic letter rate. Tied by a flag cancel made by a Bickerdike rapid cancelling machine.
The Route

After travelling overland by rail, the letter was carried on a Vancouver-Victoria steamer operated by the Canadian Pacific Navigation Co.[3]

Victoria JY29 99 receiver.  






[1] McDowall, Duncan. Quick to the Frontier - Canada's Royal Bank, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993, pg 68-69.
[2] Sessions, David. The Early Rapid Cancelling Machines of Canada, Toronto: Unitrade Press, 1982, pg 59.
[3] Scrimgeour, Gray. "Re: 1899 cover from Montreal to Victoria." E-mail to the author. 3 Nov 2007

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