Tasmania: Chief Telegraph Office - Hobart.


Details included on this page are:

  1. The General Post Office;
  2. The Chief Telegraph Office;
  3. Date stamps used at the CTO during the Colonial and Interim periods:
    Frank Stamps;
    Telegraph Office (ovals);
    Hobart - rectangular;
    Hobart - circular (used on telegrams);
  4. Date stamps used at the CTO during the Australian period (post 1917):
    Chief Telegraph Office;
    Phonogram Supervisor;
    C.T.O. (unbordered rectangular rubber date stamps).

 

General Post Office, Hobart.

Hobart 1910 The Gazette of August 17 1822, contains an announcement of the appointment of John Thomas Collicott as Postmaster at Hobart Town. Mr. Collicott was an auctioneer, his store being situated in Murray Street where the Derwent livery stables were later situated.

On June 1, 1832 the Post Office became a Government Department and 20 post offices were established under the control of the Auditor of Civil Accounts and Mr. Stephen Tunbridge Hardinge, who had served six or seven years in the G.P.O., London, was appointed for the purpose of assisting in conducting the Post Office business. Mr. Hardinge afterwards became the first Secretary to the Post Office under Ministerial control.

In 1837 the Post Office was removed to premises belonging to David Lord situated at the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets (now the All Nations Hotel) until the business was removed to the building just vacated - about 1860.

Following the introduction of telephones in 1882, the Post Office and Electric Telegraph Departments merged in 1894 as the Post and Telegraph Department.

The photograph at the right shows the alterations in progress for the amalgamation of the Postal and Telegraph Departments. The building was on Macquarie Street in Hobart and the picture shows the intersection of Murray and Macquarie Streets looking down Macquarie Street.
Courtesy of the State Library of Tasmania (statelibrary.tas.gov.au:PH30-1-225).

1894 alter

Examples of the discussions and the Parliamentary debates surrounding the merger are provided elsewhere.

On 30 June 1894, the Mercury reported that "The contemplated extension of the public buildings in Macquarie Street to provide the extra accommodation supposed to be required for the amalgamation of the Post and Telegraph Departments is now not found to be necessary and will not be proceeded with except in regards to the erection of a new strong room and other unimportant particulars". The Treasurer also announced that "the required accommodation in connection with the amalgamation of the Post and Telegraph Departments can be provided for about £1,000 instead of about £5,000 as expected".

Further details on the administrative responsibility for the Telegraph Deparment and the merger with the Postal Department are provided elsewhere.

On 14 February 1901 post, telegraph and telephone services came under the control of the Commonwealth Government.

The P&T Department moved from corner of Macquarie and Murray Streets to the corner of Macquarie and Elizabeth streets as from Sunday 3 September 1905. The present structure is the fourth official post office that Hobart has possessed since the first settlement of Tasmania in 1803.

A series of observations on the Post & Telegraph Departments were recorded in a Letter to the Editor in 1891 which, in part, related directly to the discussions for a new building.

Chief Telegraph Office.

The first Hobart Telegraph Office was housed in a stone building on the Franklin Wharf which had previously been occupied by the water police.

Clemente (1975) analysed the post marks used to 1901 at Hobart. Part of his analysis included the telegraph postmarks. He shows few are easily identifiable as such but demonstrates why apparently ordinary postal designs can be classified as being made for telegraphic use.

Colonial/Interim period.

Frank Stamps.

A circular hand stamp was also used for official mail sent from the Electric Telegraph Department.

The use of the Frank Stamps enabled mail to be sent without the use of stamps to pay the postage cost.

Top inscription: ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.

Base inscription: FRANK STAMP.

Separators: small uncoloured circles.

Format: RC1.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Used in blue.

Earliest date recorded: 1888.

Rated: RRR.

1888
Used in 1888.
1893
15 September 1893.
Used on TC-EA-1.
Telegraph Office.

Oval design (RO3).

Hobart RO3
Hobart Telegraph Office (RO3-TO) in black.
26 April 1898.

Words in outer ring separated by cross stops.

Used on TC-DO-5A.

Prestige Philately August 2005 Lot 411.

 
Telegraph Office.

RO6-TO.

27 × 41 mm (e = 0.75).

Rated: RRRR.

 

 

Hobart RO6
24 November 1890.

Used in blue: 21 November 1889 and 24 November 1890.

Words in outer ring separated by open rosette stops.

Used on TC-DO-4A.

RO6 violet
7 February 1894.

Used in violet: 7 February 1894.

Words in outer ring separated by cross stops.

Used on TC-DO-4A.

 

 

Hobart RO6
Telegraph Office/Hobart (RO6 - TO) in black.
3 June 18??.
Words in outer ring separated by open rosette stops.

Used on TC-DO-5A.

 

Rectangular rubber date stamps with Hobart.

Rectangular design with rounded corners and there are three sections:

  1. HOBART at the top;
  2. the date and a progressive number;
  3. TIME.
Date and progressive number separated by a decorative unfilled stop.
Used in violet.

Size: 26 × 55 mm.

Used between 12 November 1891 and 21 April 1892.

Rated: RRRR.

RR1 1 1891
12 November 1891 see also TC-DO-4C.
RR1 1 1892
21 April 1892.
Used on TC-DO-4C.
Date and progressive number separated by a decorative cross.
Used in blue.

Size: 27 × 55 mm.

Used: 19 March 1894.

Rated: RRRR.

RR1 2 1894
19 March 1894.
Used on TC-DO-4C.
 
Date and progressive number separated by a decorative vertical cross.
Used in blue.

Size: 30 × 65 mm.

Used: 17 August 1894.

Rated: RRRR.

RR1 3 1894
17 August 1894.
Used on TC-DO-4C.
 
HOBART
TASMANIA
Two line date - two digit year.
HOBART level with or above date.
Used in black.

These date stamps were also used on postal items but with a code letter(s) below HOBART.

Hobart 1902
Hobart.
19 July 1902.
Diameter: 21 mm.
Words separated by dot stops towards the circumference and level with the top of the letters H and T of Hobart.

Used in the Colonial period from 30 December 1896 to 28 January 1897 but also in the Interim period from 19 July 1902 to 13 December 1904.

Used on TC-DO-5D.

Rated: RRR.

Hob type 2 1899
Hobart.
17 October 1899.
Diameter: 24 mm.
Words separated by circle stops centered with the letters H and T of Hobart.

Used from 17 October 1899 to
19 January 1905.

Used on TC-DO-5A.

Rated: RRR.

Hobart type 3Hobart.
24 September 1900.
Diameter: 25 mm.
Words separated by dot stops centered between the letters H and T of Hobart.

Used from 17 July 1900 to
1 June 1906.

Rated: RRR.

Hobart/Tasmania.

Diameter: 26 mm.
No separation marker between words.

Used post 1900 - allegedly most frequently on high value pictorials.
The above date stamp is oneof two recorded examples used on a telegram form - see TI-DO-2C.

Rated: RRRR on a telegram form.

Hobart type 4
10 July 1908.

Also recorded on TI-DO-3A.
25 April 1910.
 

GEN. POST OFFICE
TASMANIA

Two line date - two line year.
Used in black.

Diameter: 23 mm.
No separation marker between words.

Used after 1900 most frequently on high value pictorials but only one strike is recorded on a telegram form.

Rated: RRRR.

Gen PO
2 June 1905.

Used on TC-DO-5.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

 

 
Hobart/ Tasmania
(miscellaneous).

The circular design with HOBART at the top and TASMANIA at the base was used in several formats to date stamp telegrams.

Hobart 1911
2 March 1911.

RO3: Double circle outside and two arcs
above/below date.
One line date - day before month, 4 digit year.

Diameter: 31 mm.

Used on TI-DO-3A.

Hobart 1920
13 March 1920.

One line date - month before day, 4 digit year.

Diameter: 37 mm.

Use on AE-DO-1E.

RC4: Rubber handstamp in violet.
Unusual scalloped line for the inside circle similar to the
early (1896) Electric Telegraph design for Sydney, NSW.

Three line date.

Diameter: 32 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Hob RO4 1923
13 April 1923.
Used on AE-RO-1Bb (top half).

 

Chief Telegraph Office Hobart (Australian (post 1917) period).

Rectangular format.
RRH-CTO.

Size: 27 × 43 mm.

Applied in black or violet.

Used: 13 August 1926 to
23 September 1934.

Rated RRRR.

RRH 1926
13 August 1926.

Used in black on AE-DO-3B.

Hobart RRH
23 September 1934.

Used in violet on AB-GBF-34A.

Steel circular date stamp.

Large gap between H and O.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Used: 31 August 1936 to 4 May 1945.

Rated: R.

Aug 1935
31 August 1936.
Used on AB-DO-8G.
Hobart 1938a
10 March 1938.
Used on AB-DU-7.
1945 wide HO
4 May 1945.
Used on AW-DO-9Eb.
Steel circular date stamp.

No gap between H and O.

Diameter: 29 mm.

 

Rated: RRR.

10 bob 1938
23 December 1938.

Used on 10/- grey and pink Kangaroo on Map printed paper with the C of A watermark.

Has four 5 mm telegraph punctures.

 

Steel circular date stamp.

Ordinary space between
H and O.

Used: 11 May 1948 (on AW-DO-10 (46)) to 28 May 1948.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Hobart 1948
28 May 1948.

Used on delivery form
AW-DO-10Ba (46).

 

Steel circular date stamp.

Short date line.
Diameter: 30 mm.
Side arcs: 2 mm.

Used 14 October 1974 and
12 July 1976.

Rated: RRR.

CTO 1958
31 December 1958.

Used on AA-DO-13B
to Prime Minister Menzies.

CTO SDL 74
14 October 1974.

Used on phonogram AA-PO-7B.

Chief Telegraph/Office/Hobart.

A very rare date stamp - possibly three recorded.

Made from rubber - RC1 - CTO.

Diameter: 37 mm (vertically).

Rubber
23 April 1962.

Used on AA-DO-13B.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

1963
23 April 1963.

Used in AW-RO-7.

A very rare date stamp - only that shown is recorded.

Made from steel - SC2 - CTO.

Diameter: 42 mm.

Steel
23 November 1962.

Used on AA-DO-13B.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

 

Chief Telegraph Office.
Phonogram Supervisor.

Size: 14 × 55 mm.

Used in red.

Supervisor
Used on an ordinary Telecom Australia envelope addressed to Hobart without a date stamp.

 

C.T.O. (rubber date stamps).

In 1970, unframed rectangular rubber date stamps were brought into service in the Hobart Chief Telegraph Office (CTO).
CTOs in all other states also introduced their version of this date stamp.

There were three main formats:

  1. Year then month and date with time on the right.

Dots between letters.

Size: 20 × 39 mm.

Used between
20 June 1968 and
9 February 1973 in violet.

CTO 196821 June 1968. Year Feb 9
9 February 1973.
Used between
27 May 1972 and
31 December 1972 in blue.
May blue
27 May 1972 in blue.

Used on AA-DO-13C.

Dec blue
31 December 1972 in blue.

Used on AA-DO-13C.

  1. Month and day then time with the year on the right.

Dots between letters CTO.

Size: 16 × 39 mm.

Used between
27 February 1973 and 23 May 1985 in blue.

CTO 1973
27 February 1973.

 

Month 85
23 May 1985.

Used on AT-DO-15B.

  1. Month and day then time with the year on the right.

Dots between letters CTO.

Used in black.

Size: 16 × 39 mm.

Used between 17 April 1975 and ....

black
14 October 1974 on an official Departmental envelope.

Jan 3 75
3 January 1975.

Used on AA-DO-13D.

  1. Month and day then time with the year on the right.

No dots between letters CTO.

Size: 21 × 38.5 mm.

Used between
9 February 1976 and
1 September 1982.

no dots
9 February 1976.

Used on AA-DO-15A for an URGENT Telegram with an URGENT 1971 label.

Nov 17
17 November 1978.

Used on AT-DO-15A.