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5 Dollars 1935, Canada

in Krause book Number: 42
Years of issue: 02.01.1937
Edition: 6 140 000 (English text)
Signatures: Deputy Governor: Mr. J.A.C. Osborne, Governor: Mr. Graham F. Towers
Serie: 1935 Issue
Specimen of: 1935
Material: 75 % Cotton, 25 % Linen
Size (mm): 152.4 х 69.85
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Ottawa

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5 Dollars 1935




5 Dollars 1935

Edward VIII

All sources on the Internet (including Canadian) claim that the engraving on the banknote was taken from a photograph of the famous British photographer Vandyke, but I allow myself to doubt that.

In my opinion, many sources confuse this banknote with the banknote of the previous issue, denomination 2 Dollars, where Edward VIII is also shown in uniform, but also in a military cap.

Prince Edward VIII of Wales in uniform. Portrait of the English painter Reginald Grenville Eves, circa 1920.

Edward VIII, later Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972), was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December of that year.

Edward was born during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary. He was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, seven weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, Edward served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father. While Prince of Wales, he engaged in a series of affairs that worried his father and the British prime minister, Stanley Baldwin.

Edward became king on his father's death. As king, he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and socially unacceptable as a prospective queen consort. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew the Baldwin government would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would have ruined his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, he abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.

After his abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany. During the Second World War, Edward was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he was a Nazi sympathiser, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France. He and Wallis remained married until his death in 1972. Wallis died 14 years later.


5 Dollars 1935

Harry P.Dawson, British American Bank Note Company's master engraver, engraved the allegorical figure representing electric power, that appears on the back of the note.


The Government of Canada intended to release the banknotes on the same day as the official opening of the Bank of Canada. It required months of work and preparation for the design, approval, and production of the banknote series. Designs for the banknotes were created by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) and the British American Bank Note Company (BABN, now BA International), both of which had designed and printed the preceding Dominion of Canada banknotes.

All but the commemorative $25 banknote began circulating on 11 March 1935, the same day that the Bank of Canada officially started operating. All banknotes contained the words "Ottawa, Issue of 1935" centrally at the top of the obverse, except for the $20 banknote, in which the words appeared below the serial number. This is the only Bank of Canada series that includes $25 and $500 banknotes, and the only series that includes the official seal of the Bank of Canada. The $500 banknote was a "carry-over from Dominion of Canada bank notes", and is the only Bank of Canada banknote series to include this denomination.

Other than the language in which they were printed, the English and French banknotes were the same. In May 1935, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada John Osborne wrote a letter to a colleague in England in which he stated that "the English-speaking population is inclined to mutilate the French notes, and the French population complains they cannot get enough of their own notes".

All banknotes in the series measure 152.4 by 73.025 millimetres (6.000 by 2.875 in), slightly shorter and wider than the 1914, 1918, 1928, and 1934 Federal Reserve Notes in circulation in the United States at the time, and were described by The Ottawa Evening Citizen as a "novelty to Canada". They were printed on a material consisting of 75% linen and 25% cotton manufactured by the Howard Smith Paper Mills (now Domtar).