Saturday, August 15, 2009

St. Lawrence Seaway Maximum Card -- Festival of Postcards

I was planning to show this postcard a couple of months ago, but I decided to save it for the Water Issue of the Festival of Postcards. Meanwhile, Evelyn at A Canadian Family did a post with this same postcard for the 50th Birthday of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opened in 1959. Her postcard, however, does not have the postage stamps. The stamps and postmark are what make this postcard especially interesting. [Note: After I wrote this, I was surprised to discover that I also have one of these postcards without stamps on the picture side. It was sent to me from Montreal by my father in 1961!]

This is an example of a maximum card, which is a postcard with a postage stamp on the picture side of the card where the stamp and card have the same subject and are canceled with a relevant postmark. This also is an example of a joint issue stamp, where two or more countries issue stamps with identical or similar designs to commemorate something of common interest. Both the United States and Canada issued St. Lawrence Seaway commemorative stamps with nearly identical designs. This was the first time that the U.S. participated in a joint issue.

This postcard has a first day of issue postmark (the words "first day of issue" are surrounded by horizontal bars and are just below the U.S. stamp. The round postmark on the far left is dated June 26, 1959 from Massena, N.Y.Massena is approximately in the center of this postcard. The locks in Massena are the only American-owned shipping locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway. To the right of the Massena postmark is another round postmark with the words "St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation" and "United States of America."

This postcard map shows the portion from Montreal, Quebec, in the east (at the bottom) to Cleveland, Ohio, United States in the west (at the top). There is an additional Great Lakes portion that goes further west to Duluth, Minnesota on Lake Superior. The complete Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system from the Atlantic Ocean to Duluth is 2,038 nautical miles (2,342 statute miles or 3,700 kilometers).

More information:
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

4th Edition, August 2009: Water


  1. A few months ago I never would have imagined that our blogs would be "having a conversation" about a postcard of the St-Lawrence Seaway!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  2. Nice postcard and interesting info on joint issues and maximum cards!

  3. This is a wonderful colorful postcard! What a find!


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