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CRAIG and MELVIN (Canadian stamp dealers and forgers)

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Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
contact me if you want to purchase it.

Edward E.Craig and Robert J.Melvin were stamp dealers in Canada (Princess Street, St.John, New Brunswick) and were involved in creating the Baldwin's Railroad Postage bogus stamps.

These labels are forgeries made by (or inspired by) Allan Taylor in or before 1865 with the help of Craig and Melvin (both stamp dealers in Canada). The train design exists in a number of colors (red, blue, brown, black) and on colored paper. A sub-type seems to have a blotch in the frameline next to the bottom left '2'. The design with 'PAID' in the ellipse seems also to exist in the colors 2 p black on red and 2 p black on green.

More pictures acan be found at: http://alphabetilately.com/US-trains-00.html.

The following text was found in the Stamp Collector's Monthly Magazine of 1866 (Vol.1, No. 10) of St.John, New Brunwick by George Steward Jr. concerning the Baldwin stamps:




BALDWINS RAILROAD POSTAGE : an obsolete local of considerable rarity"-as it is impudently termed by dealers interested in its sale-is attracting some attention at present in Philatelic Circles. Of course the venders of these stamps affirm stoutly that they are genuine ; but we beg to assure buyers that this is not the case. The "Baldwin" is a forgery and the Boston dealer who now advertises it as genuine knows that it was made to sell only. For the information of our readers we submit a brief historical sketch-gleaned from authentic sources - of this stamp.
In the month of May last two young gentlemen belonging to this city entered into copartnership - which for distinction sake we shall call Messrs "A. and B., Stamp and Coin dealers.'' They had been in business but a short time when it occurred to them that they might "get up" a stamp. Others had done so with some degree of success, why could not they? Only represent it to their correspondent as a genuine "local" issued and used in the province of New Brunswick, and by its sale they might easily replenish their coffers, and increase their business many fold. Having hit upon this "happy thought " the next thing wanted was a name and date. The latter was easily settled ; it should be an obsolete local, for this would sell best and be least liable to detection. But the name, -what should it be? This was a puzzler ! It could not be "Turner's " -or the " Eastern'' Express, for both of these companies had agents in almost every city, town and village of the Union, as well as in the British Provinces, an application to either of whom might ''spoil their leetle game." After much grave thought and consideration it was remembered that a Mr. H. Baldwin had had some years before, an express office on the European and North American Railway, which runs from St. John to the Shediac oyster beds. Why not therefore call the "obsolete local" BALDWIN'S RAILROAD POSTAGE
Nothing could be more favourable and the name was at once adopted. After sketching a rough design of the projected "obsolete," the honourable firm went next in search of an engraver whom they soon found in the person of a Mr. Gregory of this city. Mr. Gregory being an adept in his art soon furnished a block or cut of the new stamp, which was taken to the printing establishment of Messrs J. & A. McM..... of St.John, and shortly after our enterprising young gents had the satisfaction of gazing upon the fruit of their own ingenuity-or in other words upon fifteen hundred of the "BALDWIN'S RAILROAD POSTAGE LABELS" in the following colours: viz, red on white, blue on ditto., black on ditto., red on grey, blue on ditto, black on ditto, red on green, blue on ditto, black on ditto, red on yellow, blue on ditto, black on ditto, red on blue, blue on ditto., black on ditto. That such stamps should be rare-very rare indeed- no one can doubt, for they could only be had from the makers. We do not know that the manufacturers are to blame altogether for saying that these stamps were of "considerable rarity" -seeing they could only be obtained from themselves, -but every honest man will say that they were very much to blame for stating that they were NEW BRUNSWICK LOCALS. But further, we have it on good authority, that of these " gems, "four hundred were sold to S. Allan Taylor of Boston - as stamps that never existed, but were issued to sell only. Mr. Taylor knows all this, but does he denounce the imposition? oh no! On the contrary, he tries to bolster it up by "a change of base," and mendaciously says in his paper, " that the New Brunswick to which these bogus "obsolete locals'' belong is New Brunswick - New Jersey!!! Could anything be more audacious? Can he tell us or his readers when these TWO PENNY locals were issued and used in New Jersey? and why it is that no mention is made in any of the NewY ork Price Lists or American Catalogues of the U. S. local stamps? We hope that our readers will make a note of what we have said and avoid the Bogus " Baldwin's."

Advertisment of Edward A.Craig & Robert J.Melvin in the Stamp Collector's Monthly Gazette (Vol. 1, No 1. 1865, page 4) stating that they are 'sole agents for the sale of BALWIN'S RAILROAD POSTAGE, an obsolete local of considerable rarity'. They sold the set of 15 varieties for $1.50 N.B. currency

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer