Queensland - 1861-1988.
ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH OFFICE oval date stamps.


No other source addresses the Electric Telegraph Ovals issued by Queensland. They are regarded as "not real philately" by many traditionalists yet are at least equal in terms of their position in philatelic and telegraphic history. They are classified under Exhibition rules in Class 2B: Marcophily.

Format and material: The oval date stamps used in Queensland for telegraphic purposes were almost certainly made of brass and all had the heading ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH OFFICE at the top between the inner and outer ovals. They differ in terms of the format of the ovals (see classification of Telegraph date stamps), in their size and shape and in the details included.

The main types are:

Rating: All of the Queensland ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamps are rated as RRRR.

Period of use for the ovals is unclear. The evidence can be summarised as follows:

Hence most usage was between 1880 and 1900 with continuing use in a few individual offices for some considerable time after.

Almost all of the date stamps below have not previously been recorded.

Format 1 oval date stamps are a basic oval with only the date in the inner oval.
Format 1 - BO3-ETO.

Outer and inner lines only for the ovals.

Date inside. No Crown or dotted line.

Brisbane ETO 1880
Brisbane Electric Telegraph Office.
28 June 1880.
Provenance: Queensland Archives.
 
Format 2 oval date stamps: Have a Crown and "No." in the inner oval. Lines forming the ovals are continuous.
Format 2a - BO3-ETO:

Characteristics:

  1. Large oval and has a Crown inside the inner (plain) oval;
  2. "No." is in serif font at the beginning of the dotted line.
St Lawrence
St Lawrence Electric Telegraph Office.
Size: 29.5 × 45 mm (e = 0.76).
Archival strike.
Possibly in January 1898.
Thursday
Thursday Island Electric Telegraph Office.
Size: 26 × 44 mm (e = 0.81).
29 March 1888.

Used on QC-EO-2.

  Toowong
Toowong Electric Telegraph Office.
Size: 29 × 45 mm (e = 0.76).
Provenance: Alan Griffiths.
See QC-EO-5.
Townsville
Townsville Electric Telegraph Office.
Size: 29 × 45 mm (e = 0.76).
Provenance: Alan Griffiths.
Format 2b - BO6-ETO:

Characteristics:

  1. Large oval and has a Crown inside the inner (plain) oval;
  2. "No." is in italic sans serif font at the beginning of the dotted line.
Herberton
Herberton Electric Telegraph Office.
9 December 1889.
Size: 27 × 45 mm (e = 0.80).

Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Port Alma (no date maybe used in 1905) -
see Status Auctions August 2011 Lot 1637.
Format 3a - BO7-ETO:

Characteristics:

  1. Large double lined outer oval with a Crown inside the inner (scalloped) oval;
  2. "No." is in italic serif font at the beginning of the dotted line.
Cirns type 1
Cairns Electric Telegraph Office in violet.
No date.

Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Used on QC-TO-3 on 1 April 1882.
Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Hererton urg
Herberton Electric TelegraphOffice.
Used on 7 October 1882.
Size:

Used on QC-DU-2.
Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

   

Port D
Port Douglas Electric Telegraph Office.
P of PORT is missing.
No date.
Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Format 2d - BO7-ETO.

Characteristics:

  1. "No." is in sans-serif font at the beginning of the dotted line inside the inner (scalloped) oval.

Townsville
Townsville Electric Telegraph Office in violet.
No date.
Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Format 3 oval date stamps: Have only a dotted line in the inner oval.
Format 3 - BO3-ETO:

Characteristics:

  1. Large oval but no Crown;
  2. No "No." before dotted line.
Bowenville
Bowenville Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.

Premier Postal June 2014.

Boynedale
Boynedale Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.

DnJays October 2013.

  Clintonvale RS
Clintonvale R. S. Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.
 
  Dakabin
Dakabin Electric Telegraph Office.
Used 29 May 1935.
Size: 26 × 39 mm (e = 0.75).
Durah
Durah Electric Telegraph Office.
Size: 26 × 42 mm (e = 0.79
).
Provenance: Alan Griffiths.

Mt Charlton
Mount Charlton Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.

DnJays November 2013.

Cuthbert
Mount Cuthbert Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.

Previously unrecorded.
Premier Postal March 2015.

 

Musgrave
Musgrave Electric Telegraph Office.
No date.

Nangwee
Nangwee Electric Telegraph Office.
No date - archival strike.

Provenance: Carl Burnett, Johnstone.

   

Woolawin
Wooloowin Electric Telegraph Office.
Used on a piece.

A 4/- franking of these two 1882 2/- blue Chalons would have paid for an 18 word message to Victoria. There is no date or form however to indicate when the date stamp was applied or why.

Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Format 4 oval date stamps: Have nothing in the inner oval and are smaller.
Format 4 - BO3-ETO:

Size: 21 × 36 mm (e = 0.81).

Towns 1
Townsville Electric Telegraph Office.
Also see elsewhere.
Towns 2
Townsville Electric Telegraph Office.
Provenance: Alan Griffiths.
Format 5 oval date stamps are smaller ovals and less elliptical (hence a low value for the eccentricity). They include the date and may or may not have a "No. ---" below.
Format 5a - BO3-ETO:

Size: 27 × 34.5 mm (e = 0.62).

Has a one line date with
"No. ____" underneath.

Rockhampton
Rockhampton Electric Telegraph Office.
5 January 1903.

Format 5b - BO3-ETO:

Size: 27 × 34.5 mm (e = 0.62).

Has a two line date only in the central oval.

Bowen

Bowen Post and Telegraph Department oval.
BO3-P&TD.

18 April 1905.

Only known example.