OLD-TIMER-MINER SALVAGES CRASH COVER, Coleman, Alberta Canada (continued)
A salvage operation is quickly underway as OLD-TIMER-MINER bolts from his rocking chair, parachutes two steps off the veranda and sprints, faster than Harry Jerome to the burning garbage barrel.
The fire is snuffed out and the airplane cover recovered. The remains had edges burnt but the slogan “AIR MAIL SAVES TIME” Coleman, Alberta May 18th, 1945 was still visible.
Unfortunately, Ella’s (OLD-TIMER-MINER’s sister’s) return address and letter perished in the cindered ashes at the bottom of the rusted out burn barrel.
OLD-TIMER-MINER was confused (similarly as I am writing this story, but the truth must be known).
The once rugged miner (who “in his day” was handy with a pick and shovel and could load a coal car faster than most postcard collectors) was now perplexed with this Air Mail stuff.
So OLD-TIMER-MINER initiates an investigates. The truth must be known.
The Investigation Revealed
In 1945-46-47 the “baby boomers” were in their infancy stage (of which a number of us, in later life, started collecting Postcards, Postal History and of course Stamps. A number of these collectors were also keen on amassing slogan cancels. One individual that comes to mind is Cecil Coutts. You may also fit into this category!)
In Canada, in particular Alberta, mail delivery, if it wasn’t delivered by “Air”, it was deemed slow. Logic tells me that is correct. You think?
Carrying on with this concept the “Postmaster” of Coleman Alberta had some ideas of “air mail delivery” of his own. “Hmmm…,” he thinks, “aircraft delivery was fast - and saved time!”
At this point, you are likely thinking HURRY UP and get on with the Postmaster/Coleman story.
Well here we go……….. on a magic carpet ride! The truth must be known.
Soon, “slogan A-205” (Coutts) appeared on envelopes, mailed from Coleman. Precisely, “A-205, Air Mail Saves Time”, became active on April 17th, 1945!
If I understand correctly, this slogan was “NOT” officially documented or a “proof” taken before use. Sounds a little strange. Strange but true.
So how did it come to be reality unique to Coleman, Alberta? Back to OldTimer-Miner!
At this stage, Old-Timer-Miner is now totally frustrated as the investigation is taking much to long for his liking.
So who would you expect…? “Colombo” is now on the scene and rings up the Coleman Post Office. The “Postmaster” who responds had “requested” a “die hub” for the slogan machine which was already in use at the Coleman post office.
Oh! Oh! Colombo is surprised - as the volume of mail delivery in Coleman was somewhat slow at that time!
“Requested” from whom, where? Speculation has it being ordered from the Universal Stamping Machine Co. (Pitney Bowes) New York…?
If different please let me know: E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
As the investigation comes to a completion a loud rumbling sound is heard (no, it’s not the Frank slide) from the throat of Old-Timer-Miner.
He’s gagging but blurts out: “Oh No!! Oh No!! I forgot to read Ella’s letter!”
Oh No!! It burnt in the cindered garbage burn-barrel before he could read it.
Now, Old-Timer-Miner is in deep deep “cow pies” with his sister Ella.
Colombo inquires, “What will Ella do?”
Old-Timer-Miner responds “I’m about to get a “lump of coal” for Christmas. Ella can be a cranky sister…”
Now imagine that!! After 40 years of hard laborious work in a coal mine – a lump of coal for Christmas??
You might say Old-Timer-Miner got the shaft!
Canada Post by the mid 1930’s had resounding success in promoting airmail delivery service. This was accomplished by utilizing air Mail slogans.
Coleman, Alberta following suit with the exclusive use of “Air Mail Saves Time, May 17, 1945. This slogan was in use sporadically for three (3) years. Coleman Alberta, in a unique way, did its part in promoting the growth of Canadian Air Mail delivery, thanks to a “Postmaster” (May 1945).
Historical References Within This Story
1. Coleman, Alberta Canada. A coal mining industry 1900’s.
2. Population 1,900 in 1945
3. Airplane crash covers, although scare in a number of cases, were
salvaged from air wreckage.
4. Slogan cancellations had a major impact on the success of air mail
delivery in Canada.
5. Harry Jerome was a Canadian track and field star winning an Olympic
medal in 1967.
6. Cecil Coutts is the author of “Slogan Cancels of Canada” 2012 edition.
7. Slogan cancel Air Mail Save Time was unique and exclusive to Coleman
8. The “Postmaster”: F.H. Graham