Monthly Archives: June 2018

Famous British Ocean Liners

Originally published February 6, 2009.

On April 13, 2004, Great Britain issued a set of stamps commemorating six British built Ocean Liners. The stamps were designed by John Gibbs, printed by De La Rue in gravure. Sheets of 25 and 50 were produced. The stamps are perforated 14 ½ x 14.


The Queen Mary II is pictured on the two, 1st class stamps (one is water activated one is self-adhesive). She was ordered on the 6th of November 2000 and launched on March 21, 2003, by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and named after the earlier Cunard liner the Queen Mary. She was Christened on the 8th of January 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen Mary II’s maiden voyage was on the 12th of January 2004 when she departed Southampton for Fort Lauderdale. At the time of her completion, she was the world’s largest passenger ship.

R.M.S. Queen Mary II – Technical Details
Tonnage: 148,528 GT
Displacement: 76,000 tonnes
Length: 345 m (1,132 ft)
Beam: 41 m (135 ft) waterline, 45 m (147.6 ft) extreme (bridge wings)
Height: 72 m (236.2 ft) keel to funnel
Draft: 10 m (32.8 ft)
Decks: 13 passenger decks[3] Installed power: 117 MW (157,000 horsepower) CODAG
Propulsion: Four 21.5 MW electric propulsor pods: 2 fixed and 2 azimuthing; Speed: 29.62 knots (54.86 km/h/34.09 mph)
Capacity: 2,620 passengers
Crew: 1,253 officers and crew


The European rate stamp pictures the S.S. Canberra. Ordered on the 20th of December 1956 the SS Canberra was constructed by Hartland and Wolff in Belfast for the P&O Orient Line.
She was launched on the 16th of March 1960. the Canberra’s final voyage was between the 10th and 31st of October 1997.

The Canberra served as a troopship during the Falklands War.

S.S. Canberra Technical Details
Tonnage: 1961: 45,270 gross tons
1962: 45,733
1968: 44,807
1994: 49,073
Length: 249.9 m (818 ft)
Beam: 31.2 m (102 ft)
Draught: 9.97 m (32.7 ft)
Propulsion: Main: Two British Thompson Houston (AEI)
synchronous three-phase, 6,000 volt air-cooled electric motors
providing 85,000 horsepower; power supplied by two 32,200 kW
steam turbine driven alternators; twin screw Auxiliary: Four
steam turbines, each driving a 1,500 kW, 440 V, 3 Phase, 60 Hz
alternator and a tandem driven 300 kW exciter for the propulsion alternators
Speed: Trials: 29.27 knots (54.3 km/h)
1961-1973: 27.5 knots (51 km/h)
1973-1997: 23.50 knots (43.5 km/h)
Complement: 1961-1973: 548 First class, 1,690 Tourist class, 960 officers and crew
1973-1997: 1,737 passengers, 795 officers and crew.


The 42 pence stamp features the R.M.S. Queen Mary. Ordered from John Brown and Company, by Cunard White Star Line on the 3rd of April 1929, the Queen Mary was launched on the 26th of September 1934. Her maiden voyage was on the 27th of May 1936 under the command of Sir Edgard T. Britten. She served as a troopship during the Second World War and was taken out of service on the 1st of December 1967. She now serves as a restaurant, hotel and museum in Long Beach, California.

R.M.S. Queen Mary Technical Details
Tonnage: 81,237 GT (gross tonnage)
Displacement: 81,961 tonnes
Length: 1,019.4 ft (310.7 m) oa
965 ft (294.1 m) B.P.
Beam: 118.5 ft (36.1 m)
Height: 181 ft (55.2 m)
Draft: 39 ft (11.9 m)
Propulsion: 160,000 shaft hp Parsons double reduction steam turbines max. 200,000 shaft hp steam turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: approximately 28.5 kn (52.8 km/h/32.8 mph) service speed.
Capacity: 2139 passengers: 776 first (cabin) class, 784 tourist class, 579 third class
Crew: 1101 crew


On the 47p stamp, we have the R.M.S. Mauretania. Cunard Line ordered the Mauretania from Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson in 1903. She was launched on the 20th of September 1906. The Maury’s maiden voyage took place on the 16th of November 1907. She was built as a sistership to the Lusitania. During the first World War, she served as a troopship transporting troops to the Gallipoli campaign. She was also used by the Canadian and US Governments as a troopship. The Mauretania was withdrawn from service during September 1934 and scrapped in 1935.

R.M.S. Mauretania Technical Details
Tonnage: 31,938
Length: 790 ft (240.8 m)
Beam: 88 ft (26.8 m)
Propulsion: Direct-action Parsons steam turbines (two high pressure, two low pressure), 68,000 shaft horsepower later increased to 90,000 SHP, designed speed 25 knots (46 km/h), Quadruple screws (Triple bladed at launch changed in 1908 to four bladed). Astern turbines available on inboard shafts only
Service speed: 26 knots (48 km/h) Maximum speed recorded 28 knots
Passenger Capacity: 2165: 563 first class, 464 second class, 1138 third class
Crew: 802


The S.S. City of New York is featured on the 57p stamp. Constructed by John Brown and Company for the Inman Line, the SS City of New York was launched on the 15th of March 1888. On the 1st of August she began her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York. She was later operated as the S.S. New York by the American Line, the U.S.S. Harvard and USS Plattsburg by the US Navy. She was scrapped in 1922

S.S. City of New York Technical Details
Tonnage: 10,508 gross tons (29,755 m^3)
Displacement: 17,270 tons (17,550 metric tons)
Length: 560 feet (171 meters)
Beam: 63 feet (19.3 meters)
Power: Triple expansion reciprocating steam engines; 28,000 horsepower.
Propulsion: Twin screw
Speed: 20 knots
Number of Passengers: Total of 1290


The last stamp in this set is the 68p value. The P.S. Great Western was built by William Patterson for the Great Western Steamship Company, the Paddle Steamer Great Western was launched on the 19th of July 1837 and completed the 31st March 1838. Her maiden voyage commenced on the 8th of April 1838 from Bristol to New York. She also served as a Royal Mail Packet Steamer and as a troopship, transporting personnel to the Crimean War. The Great Western was broken up in 1856.

P.S. Great Western Technical Details
Type: Oak-hulled paddle-wheel steamship
Tonnage: 1340 GRT, later 1700 GRT
Displacement: 2300 tons
Length: 71.6 m (234.91 ft), later 76.8 m (251.97 ft) long
Beam: 17.59 m (57.71 ft) across wheels
Installed power: 2-cylinder Maudslay steam engine 750 HP
Propulsion: Two paddle-wheels
Speed: 8.5 knots
Capacity: 128 passengers in 1st class + 20 servants
Crew: 60



Paintings by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz

Originally published January 18, 2009

On December 6, 1985, Poland issued a 5 stamp set of Paintings by the Polish artist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. Witkiewicz was born in Warsaw on February 24, 1885. He was the son of architect and art critic Stanislaw Witkiewicz and his Godmother was the internationally famous actress Helena Modrzejewska.

Witkacy, as he liked to be called, was homeschooled as a child and was encouraged to pursue interests in many fields. After an early tragedy in his life, he was asked to travel to Oceania to act as a draftsman and photographer. Whether he went is in dispute as it was probably interrupted by World War I. On his return he enlisted as an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. He lived through the Russian Revolution while he was in St. Petersburg.

Witkacy was determined to be an artist and some of his earlier work received critical attention. He was also known as a photographer, playwright, philosopher and novelist.

His self-portrait completed in 1931 is pictured on the 10 zloty stamp.

Witkacy was a member of the Polish avant-garde artists called the Formists. He also opened the Portrait Firm which was a commercial enterprise where he painted portraits based on customer specifications often under the influence of Narcotics.

The 5 zloty stamp features the painting “Marysia and Burek in Ceylon”. It was completed between 1920-21 and was done in oil. It is in the National Museum of Cracow. The second 10 zloty stamp features the painting “Woman with a fox”.

Completed in 1917, Witkacy’s “Compositions” is on the 20 zloty stamp. The final stamp in the set is the 25 zloty value featuring the “Portrait of Nena Stachurska” which was done by Witkacy’s Portrait Firm in 1929. It is currently housed in the Tatra Museum. During his life, he wrote 3 novels that have been translated into English. He also wrote over 40 plays 21 of which still survive.

After the invasion of Poland in World War II, he escaped to eastern Poland with his lover. After the Russian invasion later in September 1939, Witkacy committed suicide.

It wasn’t until after the war that Witkacy’s reputation started to shine. Several Polish writers brought his works to the forefront at home and internationally. His play “The Crazy Locomotive” won an Obie.

In an ironic twist, while under communist rule, the Polish Culture Ministry decided to relocate Witkacy’s remains to his town of birth for a solemn burial. 50 years after the publication of his last novel genetic testing discovered that the remains were actually that of an unknown Ukranian woman.

Wikipedia. Stanislaw_Ignacy_Witkiewicz. Polish culture: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy).
Mark Rudnicki & Info Poland. Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz 1885-1939 by.

Paintings From Canada’s Centennial Issue

originally published January 17, 2009

Canada Post’s Centennial Issue series of stamps were issued between 1967 and 1971. This series included 7 stamps based on works by famous Canadian artists. All 7 stamps were issued on February 8, 1967.


The 8 cent stamp features the “Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Nelson” painted by A.Y. Jackson in 1943. Born in Montreal in 1882, he was a member of the Group of Seven. A.Y. Jackson passed away in 1974 at Kleinburg, Ontario.

Darnell No. 517


The “Jack Pine” painted between 1916 and 1917 by Tom Thomson is on the 10 cent stamp. Thomson was born in 1877 and died tragically while canoeing in Algonquin Park in 1917. Thomson was also a member of the Group of Seven.

Darnell No. 518


Painted circa 1930 the “Greenland Mountains” painted by Lawren Harris is featured on the 15 cent stamp. In 1939 he became the leader of the Transcendental Group of Painters. Harris was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1885 and died in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1970.

Darnell No. 519


The 20 cent stamp has “The Ferry, Québec”, which was painted in 1907 by James Wilson Morrice. Morrice was born in Montreal in 1865 and was admitted to the Bar in Ontario. After studying for and passing the Bar exam he dedicated himself to his art. He died in Tunisia in 1924.

Darnell No. 520


J.E.H. MacDonald was born in 1873 in Durham, England his family immigrated to Canada in 1887. Educated in Toronto and Hamilton, while working at the Grip he met Tom Thomson and other future members of the Group of Seven. MacDonald is considered one of the most important Canadian landscape artists. He died in Toronto in 1932. His “The Solemn Land” completed in 1921 is the design on the 25 cent stamp.

Darnell No. 521



Completed in 1941, John Ensor’s the “Summer’s Store” is on the 50 cent stamp. Ensor was born in Llanishen, Wales in 1905 and immigrated to Canada with his family. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and was an Industrial Designer. He died in Ottawa, Ontario in 1995.

Darnell No. 522



The 1 dollar stamp features Henry George Glyde’s “Imperial Wildcat No. 3, Excelsior Field, near Edmonton” painted in 1950. Glyde who was born in 1906, was an art teacher in Alberta and influenced Western Canadian Art in his long and distinguished career. Henry Glyde died in 1998.

Darnell No. 523



CyberMuse – Your Art Educational.
Library and Archives Canada. Canadian Postal Archives.
Glenbow Museum.

40th Anniversary of Czechoslovak Airlines

originally published January 21, 2007

On May 25th 1963, Czechoslovakia issued two stamps to honour the 40th anniversary of Czechoslovakian Airlines (CSA). The two stamps issued represent the Soviet influence on the countries airline operations.

Founded as Chechoslovak State Airlines (Ceskoslovenské Státní Aerolinie) during October 1923 the first flight of this fledgling airline was 321km from Prague to Braislava.

In 1957 they entered the modern era of air transport when they began to operate the Tupolev 104A turbojet airliner.

Scott 1178, Stanley Gibbons 1361 – 80 Haleru

TU-104A medium range transport two 9,700kg thrust Mikulin AM-3M-500 turbojets
Maximum Speed: 950km/h (590mph)
Service Ceiling: 11,500m (32,810 ft)
Range: 2,650km (1,647 miles)

During 1960 CSA began operating the Ilyushin 18 long range turboprop airliner.

Scott 1179, Stanley Gibbons 1362 – 1.80 Koruna

IL-18 long range transport
four 3169kw Ivchenko AI-20M turboprops
Maximum Speed: 675km/h (419mph)
Service Cieling: 10000m (32,810 ft)
Range: 3,700km (2,299 miles)

CSA continues to operate today as the state airline of the Czech Republic. Their current fleet includes some of the most modern aircraft available.


David Donald ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, (Etobicoke: Prospero, 1997)
Year by Year Development of CSA. Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines. Wikipedia. 14 January 2007.

180 Words

Working on the New Stamps Section

Good evening all,

This is where I will eventually move all my stamp collecting postings so I don’t have to maintain multiple sites.  My goal is to have a seamless site that looks the same throughout all the various sections.

I will begin by slowly creating posts that were originally posted at my stamp site and eventually adding new ones.


While I am working on this here are 2 free simplified albums I have come up with for you:


Cheers and all the best,

Welcome to my new site

Hello and welcome to my new home on the web.  I decided to move to a new web hosting service as I was getting a little unhappy with the old hosting provider and decided that I wanted to “Buy Local” and go with a Canadian Company.

I did some searching and research and finally settled on Host Papa and found them to be reasonable and they have excellent features.

I also decided to go with a CMS and settled on WordPress.  While I think hand coding is always the best way to go, I have to say I am impressed with the ease and simplicity of WordPress. I also hope to better learn WordPress and start developing my own custom themes and widgets as well.

Thanks again for stopping by and stay tuned as I hope to be updating the site more frequently than I have in a long time.