International Context First Aerial Postal Service Created in 1924

During the 1920s, a number of aviation companies were formed in Canada, and were authorized by the Ministry of Postal Services to transport personal and corporate mail. Each company had its own identification stamp, and issued a special stamp for transporting commercial mail for destinations inaccessible to regular postal service and boats. Such companies worked on contract under the close supervision of postal authorities.

Laurentide Air Service Curtiss HS-2L hydroplane
Laurentide Air Service Curtiss HS-2L hydroplane
Courtesy of National Aviation Museum, 1491

Forestry and mining companies soon realized the potential of aviation. Planes capable of flying over the North's vast forest areas could be used to patrol and help prevent forest fires, as well as to map out new territories.

Laurentide Air Service (LAS) was the first company to transport mail to the booming mining region of Rouyn. A private initiative, approved by the Ministry of Postal Services, LAS guaranteed regular aerial postal service between Haileybury in Ontario and Rouyn/Angliers in Quebec. Because the mail had to be marked "airmail," LAS issued a special postage stamp showing the company's name and the wording Special Air Delivery. The stamp was worth 25 cents, and was placed on the back of the envelope to avoid confusion with the official stamp.

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