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Telegraph Stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia and its States

Incorporating Telephone Stamps of Australia

By

Dave Elsmore

 

 

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This page is a work in progress. If you can add to it please mail Dave

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Contents:

New South Wales:

1871 Electric Telegraph Stamps

1885 Postage Stamps Issued to Superintendent of Telegraphs

1894 Stamped Telegram Forms

Queensland:

1880 Postal Note & Telegram

1882 Stamped Electric Telegraph Form

Victoria:

1873 Stamped Telegraph Form

Postage Stamps Cancelled Telegraph Office

Telephone Bureau Stamp

Western Australia:

1879 Embossed Stamped Electric Telegraph Form

South Australia:

Nil Telegraph

Telephone Stamp

Tasmania:

Nil Telegraph

Australia:

Telegraph Punctures of the uniform Australian adhesive stamps [Kangaroo & Map]

Telephone Stamps of Australia

Unknown

Other Issues Officially Punched

Previous Background Articles

Further Reading

Contributors

Links

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New South Wales

 

1871 Electric Telegraph. Wmk NSW Type I Blue Paper perf 12,13. On issue for only 1 month, used copies are exceedingly rare

1d, 2d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 4/-, 6/-, 8/-.

100 'sets' of Specimen overprints

Issued 1 Feb 1871 1d 2d 6d 1/- 2/- 4/- 6/- 8/-
Printed 1-31 Dec 1870 10,000 21,500 1,250 5,000 5,000 3,800 2,000 1,450
Printed 1-28 Feb 1871 15,000 3,500 2,250 15,000 10,000 3,700 500 1,050
Issued 1-31 Jan 1871 8,750 5,000 1,000 4,500 4,500 3,500 1,000 1,000
Issued 1-28 Feb 1871 8,000 8,000 2,000 5,000 3,000 1,000 --- ---
Specimens 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Destroyed 1872 300 2000 150 100 350 150 1,350 250
Destroyed 12 Feb 1878 7,750 9,800 150 10,200 6,950 2,650 --- 1,050
Retained for Records 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Total Issued 16,750 13,000 3,000 9,500 7,500 4,500 1000 1000

Records Source: NSW Archives Ref 1/83-89

Since exhibiting the above page one other single used 8/- value has come onto the market

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1885

The above pair showing the need for a 10/- value

1885 [15 October] Wmk NSW Type I Blue Paper Perf11x10

A 5/- Stamp Duty overprinted POSTAGE was supplied to the Superintendent of Telegraphs [16,400] even thou 10,000 10/- and 10,000 1 duty stamps were also prepared and overprinted 'POSTAGE' for delivery to the Telegraph Dept. They were never sent to the dept and were used up by the Post Office. This system ran for 6 months only.

Varieties in overprint exist. Above line break between G E

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1894 Stamped Telegram Forms

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Queensland

 

Various means of cancels can be found on both stamps and by themself on a telegram.

The following is the earliest circular handstamp recorded for any of the Australian States.

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The following 5 are the earliest of the oval types recorded.

   

Type 1                                                   Type 2

   

Type 3                                                  Type 4

Type 5

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1880 Postal Note with Telegram on reverse

Telegram pre-printed on the reverse of the 1/- Postal Note of 1880

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CTO Presentation Copy Perf 12

 

This above notation could explain why there are postage stamps with Telegraph Cancels on

1882 Stamped Electric Telegraph Form

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Victoria

 

Embossed

 

This above notation could explain why there are postage stamps with Telegraph Cancels on

 

1873 Stamped Telegraph Form

 

 

   

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Victoria Telephone Stamp

 

 

 

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Western Australia

 

Master Die Proof

 

Possible Telegraph use

 

   

                                             1st printing 1d & 6d perf 14                                  2nd printing [1d only] perf 12

1879 Watermark Crown/CC Perf 14, 12.

1d, 1d[perf 12], 6d.

Die Proof

Adhesives on complete Electric Telegraph form 1d & 6d are rare. Postal use was permitted and appears to be the prominent survivor

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Embossed

 

 

1879 Embossed Stamped Electric Telegraph Form

 

 

 

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South Australia

Nil Stamp Use

 

Telephone Stamp

 

Photocopy

c1904. Printed brown on card perf 5. Black overprint.

 

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Tasmania

 

Nil Stamp Use

 

 

Rear of above

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Australia from 1916

 

The below study by Brian Fuller, David Coath & Dave Elsmore

 

 

1st Wmk

 

Queensland 7-8mm

 

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2nd Wmk

 

   

 

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3rd Wmk

 

   

   

   

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Small Multi Wmk

 

   

 

     

 

     

 

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C of A Wmk

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

Tasmania 7-8mm

 

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Telegraph Office Cancel. This copy escaping the punch hole

 

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Commonwealth Telephone Stamps from 1916

1st Wmk

   

Queensland 7-8mm

   

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2nd Wmk

 

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3rd Wmk

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Small Multi Wmk

 

Nil

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C of A Wmk   

 

Nil

 

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Below are unknown watermarks

 

 

 

 

 

 

END Telephone Account

 

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Unknown

 

Telegraph or Telephone use

 

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Others:

 

 

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Postal use with Telegraph Office cancel

 

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TELEGRAPH AND OTHER PUNCTURES

(John Grant)

 

I recently came across a Bulk Postage Docket (shown below) and purchased the item partly because of its connection with Perfins and partly out of general curiosity. I was interested to know why the higher value stamps had been punctured to remove a rather large portion of the stamp paper - evidently after the stamps had served their purpose.

 

After searching unsuccessfully for an answer, I found that my question was more or less answered by an article, which I had written (and forgotten about) for a different journal in relation to Telegraph Punctures. The following paragraphs originally appeared in Capital Philately (Vol 9, No 2, February 1990)(SEE BELOW GRAPHICS FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE) and are reproduced with the permission of the Editor of that journal.

 

In October 1903, a stamp dealer who operated the Victorian Stamp Market in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, notified the Postmaster-General's Department of a possible irregularity in relation to traffic in used postage stamps. Two stamps of 1 and 2 value had been offered to the dealer by a young customer. the dealer, on noticing that the stamps bore the impress of the GPO obliterating stamp, detained the customer and contacted the Department.

 

The subsequent investigation carried out by the Department established that the stamps had been removed from bulk postage dockets. As far as the head office of the Department was concerned, the proper procedures required that all dockets with obliterated stamps (these included bulk postage dockets, telegrams and vouchers used for collect-on-delivery telegrams) were to be forwarded to the Accounts Branch to be checked before being put into safekeeping. The accumulated dockets were then to be destroyed at certain intervals. Obviously, these procedures had not been observed in relation to the two stamps offered to the dealer.

Following completion of the investigation, in August 1905, a memorandum referring to telegraphic documents was sent from the Department's head office to all State Deputy Postmasters-General. The memorandum noted that although such stamps had served their original purpose in connection with the collection of revenue, the matter was serious in that:

 

   1. The stamps are the property of the PMG and the taking of them is larceny, more particularly as they have a sale value and are therefore valuable property;

 

   2. as postage stamps, whether intact or defaced, are not sold by the Department below their face value officers cannot under such circumstances be allowed to steal the property of the PMG for the purpose of under-selling him; and

 

   a. to sell any stamp for less than its value is a fraud upon the revenue.

 

The State Deputy Postmasters-General were therefore instructed that:

 

   3. Only authorised officers are allowed access to the documents having stamps attached;

 

   a. Immediate action be taken to have all such stamps perforated, before they are put away, in such a manner as to absolutely destroy their saleable character; and

 

   b. all stamped documents be ultimately destroyed in the presence of at least two officers.

 

The Victorian office of the Department responded later that month, noting that, with regard to the stamps on telegrams, the higher values (5/-, 1 and 2) have been punctured in addition to the messages themselves, the latter being dealt with by a machine to prevent the possibility of their being resubmitted. The inference in this response was that such stamps were already being punctured prior to the August instruction. Obsequiously, the Victorian response continued:

 

"In order to comply with the instruction that all stamps must be punctured, a supervision of the Search Officer for the purpose, and with punch and mallet was kept fully occupied for two days in puncturing one day's messages."

 

The Victorian Office wondered if perhaps it was strictly necessary to puncture stamps of the smaller denominations.

 

A similar suggestion was received from the NSW office which explained that over 8,000 messages were received daily and that it had been found that the one available officer, with the present machines could not perforate more than 2,500 messages per day, as care had to be exercised not to destroy the text of telegrams. That office also noted that all stamps fixed to telegrams, and having a value of 2/6, had been punctured since the introduction of the system of prepaying, in stamps, the costs of transmitting telegrams to destinations beyond the Commonwealth.

 

The NSW office also noted that most stamps on telegrams were of 6d, 9d and 1/- values, for which present philatelic values were 9d per hundred, 1/- per dozen and 3d per dozen respectively. That office suggested that these values offered little inducement for illicit traffic.

 

Bowing to the wisdom of these representations, but insistent on having its own way at Postmasters-General in October 1905 that the earlier August instruction was henceforth to apply only to stamps of the value of 2/- or over.

 

Apart from its humour the correspondence is interesting. First, it fleshes out the history of telegraph punctures and shows that they were very much a consequence of demands made by philately.  More importantly, the records highlight that different States used different practices, well beyond federation and illustrate the difficulty of introducing uniform rules, which were to apply to the previously separate and autonomous postal administrations.

 

Reprinted from #29 South Pacific Perfin Bulletin October 1994 by kind permission of PCNZA

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Using the Australian Archives As A Philatelic Resource Telegraph Punctures

Reprinted from Capital Philately (Vol 99 #2 February 1990)

 

 

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Further Reading:

 

The Postage Stamps, Envelopes, Wrappers, Post Cards and Telegraph Stamps of New South Wales - 1911 A.F. Basset Hull

 

The Postage Stamps, Envelopes, Wrappers, Post Cards and Telegraph Forms of Queensland - 1930 A.F. Basset Hull

 

 Western Australia The Stamps and Postal History - 1979 Western Australia Study Group

 

Telegraph & Telephone Stamps of the World - 1982 S. Hiscocks

 

The Stamps of Victoria - 1990 G. Kellow

 

Australian Telegram Forms & Envelopes - 1991 B. Hancock

 

New South Wales Revenue Stamps - 1999 R. Peck & D. Smith

 

Telegraph Stamps of the World - 2013 - Barefoot [This is an S. Hiscocks update]

 

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Contributors:

 

David Coath - Victoria

Brian Fuller - Victoria

Jeff Turnbull - UK

Francis Kiddle RDP FRPSL - UK

Mark Gibson - South Australia

Dave Elsmore - Queensland

 

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LINKS

 

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain

 

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All Graphics. Dave Elsmore

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