The first Postal Guide information on the Every Householder rate the I have found is in the 1889 Guide, page xi, under the Third Class section. It states simply:
Unaddressed circulars, hand-bills, &c., may be posted for letter box distribution at the rate of 1/2 c. each, to be prepaid by postage stamp.
This wording was changed in the 1896 Postal Guide to read:
Unaddressed circulars, hand-bills, &c., subject to the rate of 1 cent per 4 ounces, may when not exceeding two ounces in weight be posted for local letter box distribution at a rate of 1/2 c each to be paid by postage stamp: if exceeding two ounces in weight the general rate applicable to such matters must be prepaid.
This wording change remained in place in the 1897 to 1900 Postal Guides and probably through to 1903 although I do not have access to copies of the 1901-1903 guides to check. In the 1904 Postal Guide however, the wording was changed again to read:
Circulars and similar articles of printed matter, duly prepaid may be posted addresssed simply to the householder without the name of any person or indication of street or number, and will be delivered at every house so far as the supply permits, in places where there is free delivery by letter carrier.
Well that is all for today. More on the analysis of these changes in the Postal Guide wording over the 1889-1904 period next time.
If anyone has access to the 1901-1903 Postal Guides I'd like to confim that the 1896 wording above remained unchanged through that period.
And here is another issue that I am curious about. Was the everyhouseholder rate a Canadian idea or was it copied from other countries?