Ruislip Stamp Co.

Ruislip Stamp Co.

United Kingdom/Canada

Ruislip Stamp Company was owned by one of the greatest stamps dealers in Canadian philatelic history, Kasimir Bileski (1908-2005). “K. Bileski” has been one of the best-known names in the stamp industry throughout North America for most of the 20th century.

It was during his travels with his uncle that Kasimir gathered up stamps from the countries he visited. In 1920 he began to advertise in Saskatchewan newspapers, the beginnings of an amazing business. Kas stated “By age 13, in 1921, I had a contract with Uncle Eugene. He financed me for small amounts. I’d write to different British Colonies, order one set of their current stamps to one pound (for his uncle’s collection) and I also ordered 10 or 20 sets to the one-shilling value. These I sold.” That was the start of his business.

At the beginning of the depression, Kasimir’s teacher salary was drastically reduced. However, he continued to buy and sell stamps and was gaining a reputation as a knowledgeable stamp dealer. In December 1931 he resigned his teaching position, bought a motorcycle, and taking his most valuable stamps in one book headed east to Montreal where he eventually sold the motorcycle and booked passage to London, England.

Arriving in London late 1932, he began attending stamp auctions almost daily and had a few hundred customers in Canada and the U.S.A. He began an informal partnership with a man named Mick Michael, and financed by H. E. Wingfield, and began selling mostly to the U.S.A. The partnership lasted about a year.

Kasimir and his wife Eugenie lived in Ruislip, a suburb of London where they traded under  the name Ruislip Stamp Co. Kasimir and Eugenie remained in London until 1938, when the rumblings of war, and homesickness for Canada, took them back to Winnipeg.

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