World Stamp Catalogue/Canada/Polio Vaccination 1955–2005

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The Canadian postage stamp of Polio Vaccination 1955–2005, issued September 2, 2005, was a domestic 50-cent stamp commemorating the fight against polio, which Canada Post rightfully described as "one of the most feared diseases of the first half of the 20th century".

While such an epidemic would immediately suggest something reserved and mournful, Canada Post's Liz Wong commented "We didn't want a sombre message. We wanted to focus on the benefits that exist now. It's something to celebrate."

The stamp, designed by Toronto graphic designer Debbie Adams of Adams & Associates, features six colourful silhouettes of children, jumping and playing. The children are equal in gender. According to Adams, "It illustrates in a positive way that, as a result of the polio vaccine, children are free from the fear of contracting this dehabilitating disease."

Artificial legs are "thrown" off to the side of the stamp, as a juxtaposition. The photo of these legs was by Andrew Layerle.

Two-and-a-half million stamps were printed by Canadian Bank Note, with PVA gum and 13+ perforations. The stamps are lithography in eight colours, on Tullis Russell Coatings paper. The stamp was 35 mm × 48 mm, horizontal. The panes of sixteen stamps have general tagging on four sides.

The Official First Day Cover Cancellation was issued in Ottawa, Ontario. Last day of sale will be 1 September 2006.


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  • Pat Newson, "Polio Vaccination 1955–2005", Canada's Stamp Details, Volume XIV, No 3, ISSN 1191-8217

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