The Advance Messenger Service – Montreal/Canada

“The Advance Messenger Service” operated in the years 1896–1917 in Montreal delivering parcels (within the city limits?).


The company offices were first located in 181 St. James Street and relocated to 140 St. Peter Street in 1901. This is documented in Lovell’s directory which contains a street directory, listing all citizens and companies of Montreal alphabetically:



On page 385 of Lovell’s Montreal directory for 1897-98 the following entry can be found:


The company “Advance Messenger Service” as well as the manager John A. Grose are mentioned (see also page 188). John Grose was also the manager of the “Dominion Burglary Guarantee Co.” and “The Watkins Automatic Fire Alarm”. In 1897 Charles W. Hagar took over the management in addition to his activity as agent for the Guardian Fire and Life Assurance Co. - followed by James C. King in 1913.

Three different types of stamps from The Advance Messenger Service are known:

The-Advance-Messenger-Service-Montreal-Canada-cinderella-RE20917Type 1

The-Advance-Messenger-Service-Montreal-Canada-cinderella-RE20916Type 2a

The-Advance-Messenger-Service-Montreal-Canada-cinderella-RE20915Type 3

They differ in size, paper, perforation, name of the manager …:

From Type 2 a version printed on blue paper is known too:

Maybe the printing was made at ACME Lithographing, which also was located in 181 St. James Street?


Page 450 of Lovell’s Montreal directory for 1897-98


The stamps are listed as no. cc5020 in the catalog “Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada” written by Ron G. Lafrenière:

The stamps shown above seem to be the only existing ones of their kind. If you have more information please contact info[at]

Almost nothing is known about “The Advance Messenger Service”: no information how the company operated, whether bicycles were used for delivery, whether the stamps were used as receipt for payment, where the printing was made …  Two of the above stamps show a kind of cancellation:

  • type 1 has a hand-written grey-green cross
  • type 2b is stamped in blue-purple capital letters, presumably “MESSENGER" (upside down)

Are these stamps cinderella (missing face value) or stamps? Who knows?

Thanks to Ron Lafrenière for providing the above extract from his catalog “Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada”, scans and all the additional information.