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stamp printers by country


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    = Understood to be a current stamp printer.

 First postage stamp issued: 1851.

American Bank Note Company, Ottawa.
Abbreviation known by: ABN.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1859 for the Colony of Canada

The Canadian operation of ABN needs researching; however, in 1923 ABN in Canada became the Canadian Bank Note Company, Ottawa

In 1939, C E Ashton founded the company. It was not initially a security printer, producing packaging, labels, school books, direct mail and greetings cards until 1969 when Canada Post gave them its first stamp production job.

Following bankruptcy [when?], the company became known as Ashton Potter (Canada) Limited.

Ashton Potter (Canada) Limited, Mississauga.
Reformed: 1993.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1993.
Main printing process(es): Litho, self-adhesive

In 1939, C E Ashton founded the company. It was not initially a security printer, producing packaging, labels, school books, direct mail and greetings cards until 1969 when Canada Post gave them its first stamp production job.

Ashton Potter went into bankruptcy in 1993, and so the MDC Corporation took them over and moved all assets to Ashton Potter USA until it could re-open a facility back in Canada. That day happened when a lucrative contract worth $24.1 million dollars over five years was awarded to them by Canada Post Corporation.
A new facility was built at Mississauga comprising 60,000 square feet to cope with this and many other contracts that soon followed for Hong Kong (its first overseas contract, placed through the Crown Agents), Thailand and Vatican City, among others.

Ashton Potter Canada is capable of printing stamps by all of the accepted methods on self-adhesive and water-activated papers, describing itself as "an industry leader with a heritage of high quality stamp production".

Ashton-Potter remains part of MDC's Secure Transaction Division and has significant long-term relationships and contracts with a number of the world's largest postal authorities, including the USPS and Canada Post Corporation. Ashton Potter specializes in the production of postage stamp products, including definitive stamps - coils, booklets and sheets, and commemorative stamps. Ashton Potter's security print capabilities, both offset and intaglio, combined with its pre-press and finishing capabilities are suitable to a wide variety of additional niche marketplaces.

British American Bank Note Company, Montreal and Ottawa.
Abbreviation known by: BABNC.

Now trading as
BA Banknote, Ottawa.
Founded: 1866.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1888 for Canada.
Main printing process(es): Litho, gravure, recess.

BABNC was established by printers and engravers following the merger of two separate groups led by Messrs. Burland and Smillie. Initially in Ottawa, the plant subsequently moved to Montreal and then back to Ottawa.

In 1881, William Smillie left the company to form the Canadian Bank Note Company, which was later purchased by BABNC in 1891 following several years of mixed fortunes.

For more than 130 years, BABNC has supplied security printing to governments across Canada and throughout the world. Production incorporates currency, travellers cheques, securities, passports, stocks, bonds and postage stamps.

In the autumn of 1997, an announcement appeared that the auction house Spinks of America would sell the archives of the BABNC. Unfortunately for collectors, most lots were withdrawn from sale and were claimed by the Canadian government a couple of days before the auction. Consequently, most items ended-up in the Canadian Postal Museum and collectors were deprived of the wealth of material that had been scheduled for sale.

BA Banknote was, until late 1999, a part of the large Quebecor Printing Incorporated group of companies. However the following press release reveals:

Munich, 21 October 1999 - Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) has acquired the world's fourth largest commercial banknote printing works, BA Banknote of Ottawa, Canada. The parties have agreed not to reveal the purchase price. This move reinforces G&D's ranking as no. 2 in the global market. "Through the purchase of BA Banknote we now have a banknote production facility overseas, positioning G&D in the North American dollar zone", commented Manfred Beck of Giesecke & Devrient's management board. Beck emphasized that the acquisition represents a strategic expansion and will not affect jobs at G&D's plant in Germany

Canadian Bank Note Company Limited, Ottawa.
Abbreviation known by: CBN or CBNC.
Founded: 1897.
Reformed: 1923.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1897 for Canada when it was known as ABN.
Main printing process(es): Litho, die-cut, recess
Graham & Whiteside's Business Description: CANADIAN BANK NOTE COMPANY, LTD. designs and produces innovative security systems for personal identification, lotteries and gaming and payment industries. In addition to turnkey systems, the company provides related products including authentication and border control devices, lottery terminals and printed product such as passports, visas, drivers' licenses, bank notes and postage stamps.

William Smillie was responsible for establishing the company, having left BABNC in 1881 to set-up this competitor to his old firm. However, in due course CBNC was acquired by BABNC following several poor years. Until 1923, CBN was a branch of the American Bank Note Company.

CBN is currently a member of the Canadian Bank Note Group. It was awarded the contract for printing the 1897 Victoria Jubilee commemorative issue for the then government of Canada (under the old ABN brand). It has continued to print Canadian postage stamps to the present time with volumes around 650 million per annum (as of 1990).

A 2004 new contractual agreement will provide for the continuation of the provision of definitive stamps with CBN for Canada Post.

Colour Innovations Inc., Toronto.
Founded: 1988.
First CPC stamp printed: 2003.
First stamps produced for Barbados, 2007.
Main printing process(es): Litho.

Known for its proprietary 750-1,000-line screen capability and unique postage stamp processes and techniques, Colour Innovations' stamps exhibit exceptional clarity and colour fidelity and stand out in a crowded field.

A direct supplier of pre-press services to Canada Post (CPC) from its fully-secure plant in Toronto, Colour Innovations has also printed a wide range of both definitive and commemorative postage stamps as a subcontractor to one of Canada Post's main suppliers.

More recently, in November 2007, Colour Innovations completed its first full-service postage stamp project for the Barbados Postal Service providing design, pre-press, printing, and finishing for a set of four turtle stamps.

Lowe-Martin, Ottawa.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 2002 for Canada.
Main printing process(es): Litho, die-cut.

Lowe-Martin has been manufacturing commemorative stamps for Canada Post since 2002. In 2004, a new definitive stamp agreement will represent a new segment of business for Lowe-Martin.

McAra Printing, Alberta, Calgary.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: [when?].

McAra Printing is a division of the Canadian Bank Note group, which specialises in high security printing, quality design and related services. This group offers the specialised expertise and equipment required for printing all government, financial and lottery related documents such as banknotes, bonds, stamps and lottery tickets.

It is expected that McAra will one day print stamps under its own brand name.

MDC (Multi-Disciplined Communications) Corporation, Toronto.
Abbreviation known by: MDC.

Holding company for stamp printers Ashton Potter USA, Ashton Potter Canada and (once had) The House of House of Questa in the United Kingdom. It is not a stamp printer in its own right.

In a short time MDCs Security and Speciality Printing division has become one of the world's leading providers of security printed documents. MDC launched with US$500 borrowed on the founders' Visa card in 1982. By 1999, they had established the MDC Stamp Group  as a wholly owned subsidiary of MDC Corporation.

MDC is a publicly traded international business services organization with operating units in Canada, the United States, (no longer in the) United Kingdom and Australia. MDC provides marketing communication services, through Maxxcom, and offers security sensitive transaction products and services in four primary areas: personalized transaction products such as personal and business cheques; electronic transaction products such as credit, debit, telephone & smart cards; secure ticketing products, such as airline, transit and event tickets; and stamps, both postal and excise. MDC shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MDZ.A and on NASDAQ National Market under the symbol MDCA.

MDC (Multi-Disciplined Communications) Stamp Group, Toronto.
Whilst not a stamp printer in its own right, the MDC Stamp Group oversees the stamp printing operations of Ashton Potter USA, Ashton Potter Canada and (once had) The House of House of Questa in the United Kingdom.

Robinson & Co. Ltd., at the offices of The Daily News, St. John's, Newfoundland.

Royal Gazette, St. John's, Newfoundland.
Clandestine forgeries of the brown-grey printing of 1897 exist. These were produced by one of the printers at the Royal Gazette.

Saults and Pollard Ltd., Winnipeg.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1972 for Canada. Stamp catalogues imply that BABN shared production of this issue. 
Main printing process(es): Litho.

D. R. Thistle, St John's, Newfoundland.