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The Canadian Domestogramme

Canada’s diverse postal history includes a usage of the popular Aerogramme format for postale use within Canada; the Domestogramme. The Domestogramme was a new application of an old idea; an example of the idea that if you wait long enough the old will return again, in a new form, of course.

In the era before the introduction of postage stamps, mailed letters did not include an envelope. Postal markings and franking was applied direct to the folded letter. This same concept was later deployed with Aerogrammes.

An Aerogram, Aérogramme or Air Letter is a thin lightweight piece of foldable and gummed paper for writing a letter for transit via airmail, in which the letter and envelope are one and the same. The intent of the Aerogramme was to carry a letter on the one page, without any enclosures.

The aerogram was largely popularized by its use during the Second World War (1939–45). Lieutenant Colonel R. E. Evans, Royal Engineers, Assistant Director Army Postal Service Middle East Force (MEF), proposed the lightweight self-sealing letter card that weighed only 1/10 oz for airmail purposes. Evans first saw the air letter form in Iraq, while touring the Commands after his arrival in the Middle East theatre. It had been introduced into the Iraqi postal service in 1933.

The use of the term aerogramme was officially endorsed at the 1952 Universal Postal Union Postal Union Congress in Brussels.

aerogram

In 1973 Canada issued a set of 12 Postal Stationery very beautifully depicting flowers of the Provinces and Territories. The set included 6 Aerogrammes, but also 6 of the new concept that they called Domestogrammes

The Domestogramme was a totally new concept. Not intended for sending reduced weight mail over oceans via air post, the Domestogramme was for mail use within the issuing country; Canada. More expansive than any European Country and broader than many oceans, the concept was perfect for the vast territory of Canada.

Unfortunately, like so many ‘good ideas’, the Domestogramme was not very popular. Probably the only people who bought them were collectors

Depicted here are First Day Cancellations on the first, error, printing of the set. The ‘s’ was omitted from Postages/Poste(s). There was a second printing that corrected the omission.
Stampless covers, Aerogrammes, Domestogrammes ; postal concepts over time.

domestigrams