Introduction of the Postal Code System in Canada
Mechanization, Politics and Efficiency

A Presentation to BNAPEX 2011 at North Bay ON by Nick Poppenk

Canadaís postal delivery system probably would have ground to a halt by now, were it not for the implementation of a mail sorting technology in the 1970s. Despite its significance, it passes below the awareness of most Canadians; nevertheless, the system has earned respect from postal authorities around the world.

I would probably not have done the research behind this presentation without the regular encouragement of Mike Street, who has worn and wears many hats within our organization. I am selfishly grateful for this, because I have enjoyed the search and the efforts to put together a basic outline of the history of the implementation process. I should alert the viewer, however, that the content presented here must be read with caution, because I have only scratched the surface of the topics herein, and much of it cannot be verified by me other than through some covers I have picked out of the boxes of material that have come my way.

I am also grateful for Charles Livermoreís involvement in this presentation. I believe he and Mike hatched the idea of capturing slides and audio of the presentation at North Bay, as a first attempt to make a subject easily available to all members of BNAPS, and possibly lay the track for a growing library of such resources. Charles recorded it and created the web site you are about to visit.

The postal code system offers many interesting philatelic opportunities, some of which will be difficult to realize if the material from the period slips through our fingers. The material isnít in dealersí inventories, itís destined for the blue boxes of philatelists and their friends/family. The bigger investment required is the time to sift through it all. I hope the topics in this presentation open up some of these possibilities to your consideration, and serve as useful starting points for better research.

If youíd like to comment about it, contact me at Nick Poppenk. Iíd love to hear your reactions, and corrections.

The Presentation