Universal Postal Union, 1874-1999

Posted on Aug. 26, 1999 by CPO in Latest Stamps

The world's postal system was a complex web of regulations impeding global trade when, at an 1874 conference in Berne, Switzerland, representatives of 22 nations established the General Postal Union ­ later renamed the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

To mark the 125th anniversary of the UPU, Canada Post presents this handsome domestic-rate issue featured on a pane of 20 and on Official First Day Covers.

Designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier, the stamp bears the official emblem of the UPU suspended over a map of the world. Comments Pierre-Yves: "The colour green illustrates the single territory created by the UPU, permitting the free flow of mail." The emblem was inspired by René de Saint-Marceau's turn-of-the-century sculpture depicting five messengers ­ symbolizing five continents ­ passing letters around the globe.

Sorting out the Mail

On October 9, 1874, now celebrated as World Post Day, the Treaty of Berne established the union that became the UPU. Today, as mail volumes continue to increase, the UPU continues to support the world's largest physical distribution network.

Stamp Specifications

  • Denomination: 1 x 46¢
  • Design: Pierre-Yves Pelletier
  • Dimensions: 56 mm x 27.5 mm (horizontal)
  • Gum Type: P.V.A.
  • Perforations: 13+
  • Printer: Canadian Bank Note
  • Printing Process: Lithography (six colours)
  • Tagging: General, four sides
  • Quantity: 6,000,000
  • : Tullis Russell Coatings
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