Jack V. Elliot

Jack V. Elliot Air Service

Jack Elliot, was a pilot in the western Ontario area providing passenger service and flights for thrill seekers in the early 1920's. By 1925, he had his own flying school and by purchasing partially completed aircraft, managed to complete his own aircraft.

Due to the hardships supplying men and materials in the northen Ontario mining regions during the mid 1920's, Elliot started an air service with 2 small aircraft (JN4-Canucks) fitted with skiis. He mainly flew from Rolling Portage/Sioux Lookout and Hudson, Ontario to the Red Lake Mining District.

The post office also took advantage of the service by allowing mail to be delivered at the cost of 25 cents for each letter carried.

The service lasted from March 6th to March 25th 1926, when the spring thaw made landings too dangerous.

Stamps Issued

Essay stamp.

This design was rejected by postal authorities in Ottawa. Stamp CL6 replaced the essay stamp.

CL 6 issued issued March 6 1926.

The design consisted of the company name and a series of zig-zag lines

CL 6 imperforate pair.

CL 6 "White Flaw" variety.

CL 7 issued issued March 25 1926.

Essentially the same design except the background was changed to swastikas

Photo of Mine Recorder Tent at Red Lake

The mine's recorder tent was used as a pick up and drop off point for mail.

This photo is found in D.F Parrott's Book, The Red Lake Gold Rush.

Flight Covers

First Flight cover Red Lake to Rolling Portage.

March 6, 1926

Cover from the David G. Brown collection.

Some of the first flight covers have a special cachet as shown below.

Image used by permission from the David G. Brown collection.

The oval marking in blue served as a temporary post office cancel at Red Lake.

Notes are from the David G. Brown collection.

First Flight cover Rolling Portage to Red Lake.

March 6, 1926

Front of cover

Back of cover

Note the different cachets in both covers.

Rolling Portage to Kitchener.

March 6, 1926

The cover has the temporary oval cancel on the company stamp, however on closer inspection we can see that the previous stamp had been torn off. This would have been the company 'Essay' stamp, which was not authorized for use by the Canadian Post Office Authorities. The new CL 6 was put over top and then properly cancelled. The cover reached Kitchener on March 19, 1926.

Rolling Portage to Kitchener.

March 6, 1926

Stamp CL6 was placed over top the essay stamp.

Red Lake to Rolling Portage.

March 10, 1926

The first flight was supposed to take place on March 5, 1926, however due to the volume of mail to be processed, the flight was scheduled for the next day. Once the mail was processed, another problem occurred. Both planes were already in service. Due to weather and light damage to both aircraft, the first official flight did not take place until March 10, 1926.

Since Red Lake had no post office, and Jack Elliot made only one temporary cancel dated for March 6, 1926, leads to the confusion as to when the flight actually took place.

Rolling Portage to Red Lake.

March 25, 1926

Letters on this date received the Mining Division cachet which was nicely cancelled on the company stamp in the left hand corner.

Rolling Portage to Red Lake.

Letter to Herbert E. Holland.

March 30, 1926.

Herbert E. Holland was from Coventry England, and became the Crown Land Agent and Mining Recorder for the Kenora Ontario. The heightened increade in mining claim registration in the Red Lake area prompted the need for a local Mining Recorder Office. Holland opened his office on March 1, 1926 and little more than a week later, the office also became the temporary post office for mail carried by Elliot Air Service.

Stamp CL 7 was placed at the back of this cover. Postmarked March 30 1926, at Red Lake.

Cover and notes are from the David G. Brown collection. This is a wonderful commercial usage of a Semi-offcial stamp. Thank you David for sharing this cover with us.

Winnipeg to Red Lake via Rolling Portage.

April 3, 1926

A cover sent from Winnipeg on March 29, 1926 and arrived at Red Lake on April 3, 1926. The cover was sent to Jack Elliot, postmaster of Red Lake.

Red Lake to Rolling Portage.

April 5, 1926

An unlisted flight cover.

Red Lake to Rolling Portage.

April 8, 1926.

An unrecorded flight made by the company

Red Lake to Rolling Portage.

April 8, 1926

An unlisted flight cover which is similar to the above letter, however, this cover arrived on April 9, 1926. The reason the covers arrived on different dates is unknown to me, however, Dave Brown suggested that it could have been due to the excessive weight of the aircraft payload that not all covers could have been flown at the same time.

Toronto to Kitchener via Rolling Portage and Red Lake.

April 8, 1926.

A very unusual registered cover. The cover was sent from Toronto on April 8 and was received at Rolling Portage on April 15. The cover then flew to Red Lake on April 17. There is a faint April 17 cancel on the CL 7 stamp. The cover was received on April 21 in Kitchener. This is a rare cover since the proper usage would have been a CL 9 stamp. However, the CL 7 stamp was used since it was unlikely the new CL 9 stamp was available at the Toronto post office. This cover was flown on the last flight made by Elliot-Fairchild Air Service.

Toronto to Red Lake via Rolling Portage.

April 14, 1926

A very interesting commercial cover sent to the Mining Recorder's office. This cover arrived from Toronto to Rolling Portage on April 14, 1926. What is interesting to note is that the cover did not arrive at Red Lake until June 9, 1926. Why is this the case? I really do no know. The company continued to fly to Red Lake until April 17, 1926. I have examples here showing that. Perhaps the cover was lost at Rolling Portage and then was discoverd by Patricia Airways Explotarion Ltd., whom eventually flew the cover to Red Lake. A very interesting commercial cover.

Rolling Portage to Red Lake.

April 17, 1926

A very nice commercial cover sent to the Mining Recorder's office. This cover was flown on the last day of service on April 17, 1926.

Company Notes

- Jack Elliot was appointed temporary postmaster at Red Lake.

- Covers are known between March 6 and March 25, 1926.

- Five cachets are used.

- A private label or "essay" in blue was designed but was rejected for official use.

- Imperf pairs exist for both CL 6 and CL7.

- Jack V. Elliot merged with Sherman Fairchild to start up Elliot-Fairchild Air Service in late March 1926.
See the Web Site re: The History of Mining in Red Lake

[ History of Red Lake Web Site ]

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