Telegraph Offices in the North-west region.

Burnie (Emu Bay).

The Telegraph Office was opened in 1875 at the Post Office. Annie Cocker, at the age of 18, was appointed in charge of the joint office in 1875 and held that position until 1883.

The Post Office had been opened in 18 as Emu Bay but renamed Burnie in 1842.

The building of a joint Post & Telegraph Office was let for tender in late 1900 but it was not until January 1923 that the announcement saying "commencement has at last been made with the demolishing of the old weatherboard building which occupied the site on which the new Post and Telegraph Office is to be erected. It ls understood that an early commencement with the construction of the new oflice is to be made. It will be situated in Wilson street, directly opposite the Burnie Motor Garage".

The P&T Office also fielded its own cricket team.

Burnie became the main port for the west coast mines after 1897 when the Emu Bay Railway opened.


Postal date stamps.

Ingles (1975, p. 88) suggests that the circular date stamps which replaced the numeral obliterators - especially that shown here as Type 1a - were only occasionally used on mail. Their use was mainly in the telegraph section.


Type 1: Solid stops.

TASMANIA at base.

Used: 21 April 1898 to 18 July 1901.

Burnie 1900
23 August 1900.

Tasmanian Stamp Auctions, February 2013

Type 1a: circle cross stops.

TAS. at base.

Diameter: 24.5 mm.

Used: March 1900 to December 1912.

Burnie 1905
6 November 1905.

Used on TI-DO-1B.

4 July 1905 on TI-DO-1A.  
Later post-Federation date stamp. Burnie 2P
22 October 1938.

Used on £2 red and black Kangaroo on Map with small telegraph puncture.

Telegraph Office/

Small square dots.

Long date line.
Diameter: 28 mm.

Used between 5 November 1933 and
6 January 1956.

Vic Cent
8 January 1935.

Provenance: Hugh Freeman, Johnstone.

Burnie 5 bob
9 M? 1938.

Used on 5/- red and black Kangaroo on Map with small telegraph puncture.


Aug 1953
21 August 1953.

See also AW-DO-10B (50).


T.O. Burnie/

Diameter: 31 mm.

4 mm side arcs.
Long date line.

Used: 6 January 1954 and 6 January 1956.
Rated: RR

TO Burnie
6 January 1954.

Used on AW-DO-10A (52).
Source: Torsten Weller.

Burnie abo
6 January 1956.


Telegraph Office Burnie/
Very small side arc between TAS and AUST.

Two formats:

  1. Long date line.

Used: 12 March 1956 to 15 Sept 1972.

Diameter: 31 mm.

Rated: R.

TO 1956
12 March 1956.

BUrnie TO 1957
24 September 1957.

  1. Short date line.

Used: 15 September 1972.


Rated: RR.

15 September 1972

The Telegraph Office was opened in 1878.



In 1892, a Telegraph Office was opened at the Deloraine railway station and it operated through to 1959.

The Post Office had opened in 1836 but closed in 1841 only to reopen in 1845.


Diameter: 24 mm.

Date in two lines.
Year in two digits.

No separation marks.

Rated: RR (in blue).

Campbell et al (1962, p. 108) indicates a type 3 canceller, with the date in one line - was used in blue in February-March 1910. There is no mention of their type 1 canceller being used in blue.

Del 1908
10 October 1908.
Used in black on TI-DU-1.
Delo 1911
27 November 1911.
Used in blue on TI-DO-3B
8 November to 1 December 1911.

Also known in blue on TI-DU-4.


Devonport was established through the merger of Torquay and Formby on opposite sides of the mouth of the River Mersey.

Very soon there were three Post & Telegraph offices - at Devonport, at East Devonport and West Devonport.

Devonport Post & Telegraph Office - year unknown.
East Devonport.
No inclusion of the words TELEGRAPH OFFICE.

TASMANIA at base.


Diameter: 24 mm.

Devonport east 1907
16 December 1907.

Has * under name.
Used on TI-DO-2A.


Devonport West.
TELEGRAPH OFFICE at the top of the date stamp.
  1. with WEST following Devonport.
Devonport West
7 January 1928.


  1. During 1928 or 1929, the WEST was removed after DEVONPORT.

Used: 12 August 1929 to
25 May 1934.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated: RR.

1929 WEST removed
12 August 1929.
Devonport TO
8 January 1934.

Tasmanian Stamp Auctions
20 February 2011.

1934 KGV yellow
25 May 1934.

Tasmanian Stamp Auctions
August 2017.

TAS at the base.
7 mm side arcs.




Devonport Roo
8 June 1937.
On £1 Kangaroo on Map
C of A multiple watermark
with 5 mm Telegraph puncture.


Devonport 1950
14 June 1950.
Used on telegram piece.

"The Chamber of Commerce has been exercised as to the necessity of increasing the staff at the West Devonport Post Office, which also comprises the Telegraph, Money Order and Savings Bank branches, and to attend to which the respected postmistress is only allowed one assistant, besides a boy to carry out the messages.

The Post and Telegraph were two separate offices until the drastic retrenchment policy of the Braddon Government caused the retirement of the then postmistress after a career extending over 30 years. The telegraphist assumed the dual position at a salary said to be inferior to that paid at Ulverstone and Burnie. Since then the business has increased 50 per cent and at times inconvenience to the public has been felt; but no blame is attached to the present official, who practically has to do seven days work as the Melbourne and Strahan steamers have almost monopolised Sunday as their day of arrival here, to the desecration of the Christian Sabbath and entailing work on  day to a number of persons, including the postmistress, who has to sort the incoming mails for the coast offices.

A strong case was made out for an additional assistant and it is to be hoped that the representations from the Chamber, with that object in view, will be favourably entertained by the Government, who should also discourage Sunday work as much as possible. The members also decided to make another appeal for the restitution of the telegraph instruments to the East Devonport Post Office as the telephone service was reported as unsatisfactory and objectionable, a torment to the officials and deficient in privacy".
Mercury 14 June 1897.

Elizbeth Town.

Approval to establish a Post Office was given on 31 August 1860. A Telegraph Office might have been established in 1873 or soon after when the Deloraine to Latrobe line was constructed.

The usual Type 1a postal canceller was used for telegrams. It had been damaged with a break below TA. There was a dot or hyphen between the two words. Eliz Town
24 May 1910.

Used on TI-DO-2B.


Located near West Tamar, a Post Office was opened at Glengarry on 1 December 1878.

No special date stamp was issued for use with telegraphs and the usual postal date stamp was used.

Size: 25 mm.

Glen 1909
25 June 1909.

Used on TI-DO-2C.



Latrobe P&T Office (left) and Council Chambers.

Originally called Port Dalrymple.

The first telegraph office in Launceston was in George Street opposite Patterson Street. The Officer-in-Charge was Mr. G. B. Butcher - the brother of the newly appointed Superintendent of Telegraphs Mr. W. H. Butcher.

In 1881, the office was moved "to more commodious quarters".


Launceston 1
Launceston Post & Telegraph Office and Cameron Street.
  Launceston 2
Launceston Post & Telegraph Office and St. John Street.
Colonial date stamps:    
  Launceston 1904 Launceston 1906  

25 March 1904. TI-MO-2

Diameter: 24 mm.

11 December 1905 (with year in italics) - TI-DO-6

Diameter: 24 mm.

Post 1900 date stamps:    
Launceston 1908   Launceston 1946  

26 March 1908. TI-MO-3

Diameter: 25 mm.
TASMANIA at base.


Telegraph Office, Launceston.
20 March 1946.

Diameter: 29 mm.

    Launc Rail
Source: Torsten Weller 2012.

West Tamar

The Post Office was opened on the site of the original Exeter site in 1911 when a new Exeter Post Office and that for Tatana were opened nearby.

On 19 November 1943, the Hobart Mercury carried a story of the retirement of the Postmaster at Loira - Mr George Williams. He was then 92. He was first appointed Postmaster to the Office then bearing the name Exeter in 1895. He carried the mail from what was then Crossroads to Exeter on foot. In 1907, the Exeter Post Office was moved from Mr Williams' shop but it returned in 1912 due to the orchard industry requiring another Post Office. The new Office was named Exeter while the old Office at Mr Williams' shop changed name to Loira. Mr Williams continued to operate the Post Office until ill health interferred.


The Telegraph Office opened in 1876 as Penguin Creek.

Originally the Post Office was called Sulphur Creek but it was renamed Penguin Creek on 1 June 1868. The name was changed again to Penguin on 30 June 1895.

Three Tasmanian Post & Telegraph offices had their date stamps altered by the removal of a word - Broadmarsh, Penguin and Scottsdale.

There is a large space after PENGUIN. Hence this date stamp was a provisional one created by removing the word CREEK - in late 1899 - pending the arrival of a new date stamp.

Diameter: 24 mm.


31 October 1900.

Penguin with space on a 2d Pictorial
No special date stamp was issued to Penguin for telegraphic use. Instead the usual postal date stamp was used on telegrams.


Diameter: 27 mm.

Pemguin 1953
1 March 1953.

The Post, Telegraph and Money Order Office was opened in 1896 when Penghana was closed. Miss A. A. Mylan was the Post & Telegraph Mistress.

£1 roo Queenstown.
Date unclear.

On £1 grey Kangaroo on Map with C of A watermark.

  Roo hole

4 January 1939.

On 10/- grey and red Kangaroo on Map with C of A watermark.

Has a 5 mm telegraph puncture.

Regatta Point.

The Telegraph Office (west of Queenstown) opened

  Regatta Point
1 November 1949.
Stanley (formerly Circular Head).

The Telegraph Office opened in 1876.

The Post Office had opened as Circular Head on 1 July 1845 and changed its name to Stanley in 1882.

In April 1894, Mr. Otto Morley was transferred from the Telegraph Office in Hobart to take charge of the Post & Telegraph Office in Stanley.

The Telegraph Office was distinct from the cable office.

Stanley 1909

Stanley (13 May 1909).

Diameter: 23 mm.
TASMANIA at base.

Used on TI-DO-2b and (in 1897) on TI-DO-5A.


The Post Office originally opened as East Strahan about 1 Ocober 1891 but changed name to Strahan on 25 January 1893.


Tatana - Exeter - Loira.
West Tamar

There has long been confusion about the Post/Telegraph Offices in this area of West Tamar. It is usuful to quote some recent history before going into the past:

On 19 November 1943, the Hobart Mercury carried a story of the retirement of the Postmaster at Loira - Mr George Williams. He was then 92. "He was first appointed Postmaster to the Office then bearing the name Exeter in 1895. He carried the mail from what was then Crossroads to Exeter on foot. In 1907, the Exeter Post Office was moved from Mr Williams' shop but it returned in 1912 due to the orchard industry requiring another Post Office. The new Office was named Exeter while the old Office at Mr Williams' shop changed name to Loira. Mr Williams continued to operate the Post Office until ill health interferred with his activities".

The Post Office at Exeter - according to PMG records - changed name to Tatana in 1911. It appears however that, due to arguments between early settlers, a different location was selected for the Tatana Office. This Tatana Office was due to open on 1 January 1912 but there was a delay of a few weeks due to "a protest against the misnomer which was most unpopular".

Loira was opened at the former Exeter site in 1911 or 1912.

The argument was still continuing by 20 March 1912 when the Deputy-Postmaster noted that both the Exeter Post Office and the Tatana Post Office were both outside the surveyed and proclaimed town of Exeter.

Confusion reigned - and still does. In a letter to the Editor of the Launceston Examiner on 9 September 1912, Mr. F. Payne-Gallwey noted:

Sir,-Many complications have arisen regarding our mail matter in this district, particularly parcels, because the authorities have changed the name of the Post Office at Exeter to Tatana, whereas the township still retains the name of Exeter. Some matter comes through dressed Post Office, Exeter, and some simply  Tatana,  West Tamar. The former, according to the Post Ofice officials, is not correct, and as regards the latter few of the general public ever heard of Tatana. After having made full enquiries, both at the Exeter and Launceston Post Offices, I find the only really safe address for people wishing to have their mail matter delivered at Exeter is the following:--"care of Tatana Post Office, Exeter, Tasmania."

I am sending you this, as I feel sure were it published it will save much misunderstanding.-Yours, etc.,

In August 1913, the Deputy Postmaster- General again refused to change the town name of Tatana to Exeter.

In February 1914, there was a petition circulating in the Exeter district to change the name of the post office from Tatana to Exeter. "To call the post office by such a name is no doubt a great inconvenience, and causes a lot of extra trouble to the public and postal authorities".

On 3 November 1914, the Launceston Daily Telegraph noted:

"The new town of Exeter (or Tatana), the naming of which is causing so much local heartburnings, is an indication of the prosperity of the district. Its position is calculated to form a guarantee of its development into an important centre, as it is situated at the outlet of the flourishing districts of Glengarry, Franford and Winkleigh, and is on the main road which communicates with Latrobe and Devonport, and so to the North-West Coast. Being close to the Tamar, at Blackwall, it will have the great advantage of water carriage".

On 9 April 1915, the Launceston Examiner reported:

"At a public meeting held at Exeter in connection with the ward question, the Chairman (Mr. R. W. Wood) announced, in regard to the request sent by Exeter people to have the name of Tatana removed from the post office, that the Deputy Postmaster, Hobart, would not yield to them, as there was another place in New South Wales of the name of Exeter. Mr. Campbell said he hoped they would not let that be the last word on that subject. He proposed "That this meeting urges the council to continue its efforts to get the name of Exeter retained".

On 17 May 1916,

At the meeting of the Beaconsfield Municipal Council Councillor Wood moved, and Councillor Manion seonded, 'That the Warden ask the Minister for Lands to proclaim the township of Exeter, and allow the Federal Government to name the Post Office Tatana, or anything they like. The motion was carried.


The latest known date stamp for Exeter is 10 January 1912 (Avery et al, Vol 2, p. 91).

Tatana - 13 February 1955.
Ulverstone (formerly Leven).

The Telegraph Office was established in 1874.

The Post Office had been opened as Leven on 30 May 1857 and changed name to Ulverstone in 1881.

Ulverstone 1951

Ulverstone (3 January 1951).

On telegram pice with 5/- Arms having a 6mm puncture.


P&T opened 1882 with a replacement building in 1913.

see http://www.think-tasmania.com/waratah/

  Warat 1899 War 1933


Located on the highway between Melton Mowbray via Bothwell to Deloraine.


3 May 1928.

Rated: RRRR.
Used on a stampless Meteorological Return
during the Telegraph Office period.


The Telegraph Office opened in 1889 - a year after the Post Office. Originally the Post Office had been named Mount Zeehan but that was changed to Zeehan in 1890,


An oval RO3-TO TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp was issued for use with telegraphs.

Rated: RRRR.

22 September 1897.
Prestige Philately August 2005 Lot 411.

The usual postal date stamp (without a letter under the office name) was used for most telegraph uses.

Date in two lines.

No code letters.
Has two dot stops for separation.

Diameter: 24 mm.

Tele rec
15 November 1902 of a receipt for a telegram - very rare.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

Mercury 6 March 1901

"Rather more than nine years ago, new Post and Telegraph Offices were erected at Zeehan at a cost of some £2,400 and were just ready for occupation when a big fire broke out in an hotel nearby and demolished them and several other buildings in that part of the town.

As a makeshift, the adjacent residence of Mr. Brewer, the then Registrar of the Court, was converted into a post office in about three weeks and four or five years subsequently further alterations were made, and that building has done duty over since. It is far from convenient, but served its purpose in the days when Zeehan's future was uncertain. Now that the stability of the great silver-lead field of the State is assured, however, it be but right that the public offices at Zeehan should be in keeping with the size and importance of the town.

The new building stands upon the site of the one destroyed, and has on one side the postmaster's residence and the present Post Office, and on the other the Grand Hotel, from which it is separated by a narrow strip of ground, where it is hoped a new School of Mines will be erected in the near future.

It is a two storey building of brick, with cement facings, excepting the columns, bases, and caps, which are of freestone from the Oatlands quarry. The style is classic Doric below and Ionic above and presents a massive but pleasing appearance. The design is by Mr. J. G. Shield, of the Public Works Department, who may be congratulated on the success of his work.

The public gain access to the delivery windows, letter boxes, etc., of the mail room, through a three-arched portico 30 ft. by 9 ft. This mail room - 47ft. by 30ft. by 14ft. 6in.- occupies the central part of the ground floor of the building. It has four delivery windows, which may be used conjointly or separately, as the amount of business requires. They are all fitted with glass windows and shutters. The room is provided with suitable counters, sorting tables, pigeon holes, etc..It is, in fact, thoroughly up-to-date in its appointments.

At the right end of the portico is the Telegraph Office, 26ft. by 15ft., with convenient counter and accommodation for the public and the staff.

A telephone box is situated here for the use of non-subscribers to the Exchange, who, by payment of sixpence, can hold five minutes conversation with subscribers.

The Money Order Office and Savings Bank is entered from the other end of the portico. The room is similar in size to the Telegraph Office, and is conveniently fitted. To maintain the requisite privacy, portions of the counters in both these offices are enclosed from public view.

There are two strong-rooms, each 7ft. by 4ft., of cement concrete, with iron joists and each fitted with a Milner's safe with double locks. No more will the local burglar spend his Saturday night in transporting the Savings' Bank safe bodily from the office to a neighbouring quarry, as in the days of old. Such an operation would now be much too lengthy and two noisy.

At the rear of the Telegraph Office is the telegraph messengers' room, 15 ft. by l5 ft., where the youths who form this branch of the staff will be able to recuperate between messages.

More than half the upper storey, which is reached by a broad staircase, is taken up by the operating room, 36ft. by 20ft. by 12ft. 6in. The main operating table runs down the centre of the room for 24ft., and is divided into twelve sections by glass partitions similar to those in use in Hobart. The room is connected with the Telegraph Office by a shute for the conveyance of written mesaages to and fro.

The remainder of the front of this storey consists of the Telephone Exchange, which is 26ft. by 26ft. The capacity of the equipment is 200 instruments. The battery room connected therewith is situated below the telegraph messengers' room, and is hewn ou of the solid rock - 15ft. by 15ft. - consequently the necessary coolness will be always maintained. It is fitted with sinks and all conveniences - in fact, it is said to be the best battery room in the State.

At the rear of the operating and exchange rooms, and divided from them by a passage, are four nice rooms, one of which will be used by the postmaster and his office, another by the fitter and the others as store rooms. The convenience and comfort of the staff have been generally well considered. There is a fireplace in every room, excepting the store rooms, and a lavatory on each floor. All the rooms are well ventilated and well lighted from windows, but it is a matter for regret that the building is not fitted throughout with electric light.

Dadoes of cement run round all the walls the other parts of which are plastered. The staff will enter and leave the building by a side entrance at the right of the building, the only rooms at all accessible to the public being the Telegraph and Money Order Offices - a great improvement on the old building, in which no department was strictly private.

The new building will be ready for occupation in a few days.

Mr. James Wilson, the contractor, has used locally-made bricks in the work and throughout has carried out the contract faithfully and to the entire satisfaction of the Chief Inspector of Public Works (Mr. J. G. Shield). Mr. Reynolds has had immediate supervision of the work during its progress.

The total cost of the building is about £3,000.

It is the intention of the Government to ultimately remove the old Post Office and erect on its site a new Courthouse".