|As the hobby of stamp collecting took root in Europe in the 1850s and, by the 1860s, in both Canada and the United States., new issues from countries adopting postage stamps for the first time were eagerly awaited by collectors. In Britain and its colonies the Post Office the issue of postage stamps was a matter of national necessity so they did not proliferate. In the United States, however, a number of local delivery companies in the larger cities began to issue their own stamps. Not strictly necessary for efficient delivery, they acted as a useful advertisement of the companies’ activities. Collectors, particularly in North America, were -soon adding the local stamps to their collections; as a result the delivery services found an additional source of income which didn’t involve the tiresome business of making deliveries. It was then but a small step to the creation of stamps for their own sake.
One man in particular, Samuel Allan Taylor, who had worked for a telegraph company in New York in his teens and even put together a small collection of the ‘local delivery’ stamps, saw an opportunity for expansion. He had moved to Montreal in 1861 and by 1862 was creating ‘local’ stamps to his own design, notwithstanding the fact that the Post Office held a monopoly. Because he made no deliveries, he did not contravene any postal regulations. The creations of Taylor and some of his cronies are the main subject of <cite> Philatelic Fantasies of British North America (1860 – 1910) </cite>. In several cases it is difficult to decide whether a particular item is of putative Canadian or American origin. In general, items previously regarded as Canadian have been included, with a few weeded out. Some College Stamps have been excluded, as have those of International Express and International Letter Express, which seem to be wholly a United States concept.
124 pages, 8″ x 9.75″, perfect bound.