Canada issues its first postage stamp

April 23, 2017

The Canadian three-pence stamp

The Canadian three-pence stamp. Canadian Museum of History, IMG2009-0063-0009-Dm

April 23, 1851

The “Three-Pence Beaver,” designed by Canadian engineer Sandford Fleming, was Canada’s first postage stamp. It was issued in April 1851 to serve the postage service for the Province of Canada, which, along with the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, had been given control of its inland post by the British government that year. The Three-Pence Beaver was the first national postage stamp in the world that did not feature the image of a monarch or other statesman.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.