When we posted Robert Reid’s story about designing stamps for the post office and the subsequent visit from the RCMP to his office and the Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill University Library last spring (you can read it here) we let the staff at Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill University know. Now Ann Marie Holland has posted a retelling of the story and a short biography on their blog:
In March of this year, Robert Reid wrote a blog article for the Alcuin Society which began like the beginning of a suspense novel: “I was running a type house in Montreal at the time I was asked to design Christmas stamps.”
This would have been at the time of Expo 67. It is a nice story to recount, just as Peter F. McNally once did for the Reidfest held in 2007. The story goes that Robert Reid created some designs as proposals for holiday stamps, which he had printed up on perforated sheets and mailed in to an art committee working for the Post Office. In the meantime, one of his employees had swiped a stamp out of the wastebasket and used it. Reid did not take the prize, and within two weeks, the mounted police were knocking at his door on Sherbrooke Street, and up the street at McGill’s Rare Books Department, where Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis, the Head of the Department, had been steadfastly archiving all of Robert Reid’s printed productions, whether large or small. She had to hand over her batch of stamps as well.
There is a realted upcoming exhibition on stamps, which we encourage you to check out if you’re in Montreal:
And in connection with stamps, ..coming soon is a wonderful exhibition to be held at the McLennan Library entitled: “Every Stamp a Story: History, Culture and Art through the Lens of Philately”, curated by David M. Lank, and sponsored by the Friends of the Library. On view as of January 13th, 2017.
Now it just so happens that David M. Lank and Robert R. Reid published a very handsome book together on Thomas Bewick. To be continued… .