Australia: 1917-1988.
Stamp issues commemorating the Telegraph.


Australia has issued two stamps to commemorate anniversaries related to the operation of the Telegraph:

  1. 1954 - the Centenary of the Australian Telegraph service.
  2. 1972 - the Centenary of the opening of the Overland Telegraph line.

Although often described as being telegraph-related, the two lovely stamps issued in 1936 to commemorate the opening of the Tasmanian Submarine Cable were related to connecting Tasmania by cable to the national telephone service. That cable was independent of the previous five cables laid for telegraphic connection.

 

1. 1954 - the Centenary of the Australian Telegraph service.

A single 3½d rose-red stamp (BW#311) was issued on 7 April 1954 (BW # 311).

The 3½d denomination covered the cost of a letter within Australia and the British Empire.

The stamp was printed from four alto plates each with eight horizontal rows of 10 stamps.

Several minor retouch varieties are recorded plus a number of minor printing flaws which are not necessarily consistent (see BW catalogue #311).

Die proof

Eight Die Proofs were produced for presentation to:

  • Queen Elizabeth (for the Royal Collection);
  • the Governor General (Sir William Slim);
  • for three senior officials in the Postmaster-General's Department (that for Mr. P. Vantoff was subsequently returned to the Australia Post Archival Section);
  • for three members of the Stamp Advisory Committee.

The last three die proofs are now in private hands.

The official stamp and the identifying number 37 on the die proof shown here indicate that this proof was presented to Sir Daryl Lindsay on the 4 March 1954. He was at that time a member of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board.

The other two proofs were presented to J. R. W. Purves (#36) and W. L. Russell (#38).

The die proofs were printed in brown-red on white wove paper and mounted in a sunken frame.

 

 

A Publicity Card with a block of 4 was also prepared.

It is shown at the right.

 

It is the most important collectable for this stamp apart from the die proof.

card
FDC 1954 A wide variety of First Day Covers were produced by various cachet makers.

This cover was cancelled at Campsie, NSW on 7 April 1954.

 

2. 1972 - the Centenary of the Overland Telegraph line.

A single 7c light ochre, dark ochre, red and black stamp (BW#) was issued on 22 August 1972.

 

The 7c denomination covered the cost of the basic letter rate within Australia.

The stamp was printed from printing cylinders each containing 100 images in left and right panes of 50 (10 horizontal rows of 5). Four cylinders were made - one for each colour. The panes of 50 were serially numbered in black in the lefy selvedge and in the gutter between the maes. In both caes, the numbering is opposite the first stamp in the seventh row (i.e. 7/1).

Several minor retouch varieties are recorded plus a number of minor printing flaws which are not necessarily consistent
(see BW catalogue #600).

A Publicity Card with a block of 4 is the only important collectable for this stamp.

 
OTL FDC A wide variety of First Day Covers were produced by various cachet makers.

This cover was cancelled at Albury, NSW on 22 August 1972. At least four colour variations are known for this design.