This illustrated envelope featuring Toronto’s King Edward Hotel has been published by the Toronto Litho Co. showing a scene similar to their postcard for the same hotel. The reverse of the envelope bears a stamp box and location for the address, and the words “Design Patented” and “Toronto Litho Co.”
This example of a Toronto Litho pioneer postcard from the Canadian Cities Series shows a late use of a 2¢ Jubilee stamp, no. 52, mailed March 22, 1904 to Sliema, Malta.
There is extensive correspondence on the reverse from H.B. Currie to a collector in Malta with whom he had been corresponding. H.B. Currie was a post office clerk in Walkerton in the 1901 census, living as a roomer in a local residence at the time. Born October 14, 1875, he would have been 28 years old when he mailed this card. Currie sought to sell the collector a map of Kimberly & Boshof, South Africa. The 2’ x 3’ map on canvas folded into pocket size, and was given to him by his brother who served in the Boer War.
This Toronto Litho Co. Ltd. pioneer postcard was mailed by the company’s president, William Stone, to Hotel de la Poste in Ghent, Belgium from the company’s headquarters at 680 King Street West in Toronto. It is postmarked with a Bathurst Street Toronto postmark dated October 10, 1899, and bears a 2 Map stamp as well as a “Too Late” cancellation. The card also bears a Gand October 24, 1899 receiving cancel. Stone writes:
“Dear Sir: Knowing your good Hotel by reputation, I take the liberty of asking you to kindly mail mean illustrated post card of your City. Hoping to pay you a visit in the near future. Yours sincerely,Wm. Stone”
This note by William Stone prompts the question, was Stone a postcard collector? Was this research into contemporary European postcard printing part of company business? Or was Stone just curious about a city he planned to visit?