Scott #: 670 - 673
This set of four stamps was the first in the series - Ships of Canada. These are mentioned as Coastal Ships.
W.D. Lawrence - A three-masted full-rigged ship, named after her builder and owner, William D. Lawrence, at Maitland. At the time of her launch she was the largest sailing vessel of the world. (there was a other larger sailing vessel but she was a conversion of a steam vessel). I am glad to know that this ship has visited Calcutta and Cochin, in India during 1880 - 1884.
Beaver - A wooden paddle steamer, built in 1834, was the first steamship in the North Pacific. She made her first voyage by sail because she could not carry enough coal to go under steam. The vessel overcame American competition on the coast, thus helping not only to trade furs but to carry passengers and cargo to transport cattle, to tow log booms and barges and to conduct surveys.
Quadra - A single deck, steel, screw steamship built in 1891, named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, a famous Spanish explorer. She was employed in servicing aids to navigation, supporting government administration, surveying, transporting officials and dignitaries and of policing the sealing and fishing industries.
Neptune - A barque-rigged, wooden, screw steamer built in 1872. She was engaged in the Newfoundland sealing industry and during her career brought in over a million pelts. In 1884, the Canadian Government chartered the Neptune for surveys in Hudson's Bay. There was a proposal that a railway be built from the prairies to the bay to open a new route for the export of grain. An expedition set up ice observation posts and sought a potential railway terminus. Three years later, the Government of Canada chartered the Neptune for the winter mail run to Prince Edward Island. The scheme failed because although the vessel could withstand ice pressure, she was not an icebreaker. Early in this century, the Neptune returned to the Arctic to help establish Canadian sovereignty there.
Source: Ships of Canada, by Thomas Appleton