Australia - Establishment period: 1917-1923.
Ordinary rate delivery form AE-DO-1.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: Form number E.T. No. 2 (but not printed on the first three formats).
Combined form and delivery envelope format.
Message area: Blank.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Black on green (but many variations of green).
Size of form overall: 188 × 201 mm.
Size of datestamp box: 26 × 22 mm (3rd format only).
Distinctive characteristics of this form:
The first delivery form issued under direct Commonwealth PMG authority was trialled in 1917 as an experimental design combining a delivery form with a delivery envelope. Such combinations had been used in various European countries albeit with a very different design to that trialled by Australia. The intention was to eliminate the printing and duplication of work required using separate envelopes. The trials of the first two formats appear to have been restricted to New South Wales and Western Australia.

The form was folded along printed lines and then sealed with gummed tabs so that the message area was completely enclosed. It was opened by tearing along the gummed tabs - not always an easy task. The folded form was very small - see below. Urgent rate forms with the same design were also printed.

For some reason, the trial using the experimental forms was considered to be a success. So, in April 1918, the Post Office Monthly Circular contained the following:

TELEGRAPH: Combined Form and Envelope.

Approval has been given that the use of the combined telegraph form be extended to all offices throughout the Commonwealth, but the existing supply of forms and envelopes should be used up to prevent waste.

Five versions were printed over the next few years. The forms were however unpopular by all concerned:

An example of the public opposition to the format is reflected by the account reprinted in a number of newspapers including the Mullumbimby Star of 10 July 1919:

Folded Telegram Form.

"Convenience or economy as represented in the telegram — or 'puzzlegram' as it is facetiously termed by flippant critics — was the subject of passing reference in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Mr. Higgs (Q.) desired information as to when the ridiculous folding telegram form produced through the genius of Mr Webster was to be abolished and another form substituted whereby the taxpayer might have a reasonable chance of reading the telegram when he received it. The Postmaster-General, states the Age, assumed an air of calm indifference. Further provoked by Mr. Higgs, however he protested that the telegram form at present utilised represented a saving of £7000 a year. "And the loss of 7000 souls" said the Queensland member".

In the Federal Parliament sitting of the House of Representatives on 21 April 1920, Dr. Earle Page (N.S.W.) was "informed ...of the suggestion that the use of envelopes for telegrams be reverted to".

In addition to the public's negative reaction, new printing equipment was being purchased which could not easily accommodate the more complex design easily. The combined forms were therefore abandoned about 1921 as is shown by the following announcement in the April 1921 Post Office Monthly Circular:

... it is hereby notified that it has been decided to discontinue the use of the combined form and envelope when the present supplies are exhausted, and revert to the previous system.

The press release appearing in many newspapers was as follows:

"End of Self-folding Telegram Form.

Instructions have been issued by the Postmaster-General that, as soon as the supply of forms at present in stock has been exhausted, the old system of dealing with telegrams for delivery is to be reverted to. The now well-known green, self-folding forms were introduced as an economy measure, but it is  considered that the saving effected, if any, does not justify the inconvenience caused by the folded telegram. Experience has prompted the decision to revert to the former system of a plain telegram form and an envelope".

No image yet available. AE-DO-1A.


  • TELEGRAM in thick serif font;
  • has a pointing hand next to the opening instructions at the top;
  • has a heavy, right- leaning scroll at the bottom of the address section;
  • no box for the date stamp;
  • has Print number 25934 and St 7427 in lower left corner.

This form may have been trialled in NSW.


Brisbane to H.M.A.S Australia at Fremantle, WA.
29 May 1919.
Has rare rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp of Fremantle.


  • TELEGRAM in thick serif font;
  • has Index 1019 above TELEGRAM;
  • print number at base of top table is L 9565/19*15 (below the Form number).
  • a horizontal arrow next to the opening instructions at the top (see scan below);
  • has a fine ornamental scroll at the bottom of the address section;
  • no box for the date stamp.

This form may have been printed and trialled in Western Australia.

See also the reference in the Table at the base of this form for AE-DO-1D where this is another form included for HMAS Australia.

Detail from the above scan of:

  • the 6th word which had been at the top left of the flap "(open here from right to) left" and the following horizontal arrow (poorly printed). The first words can be seen clearly in the scan above.
  • the ornate scroll across the base of the address box.
Printed February 1917.

Melbourne to Launceston
(12 May 1919).

Has type 2A (iv) rubber date stamp which is rated RRR.


  • TELEGRAM in sans serif font;
  • has a diagonal arrow next to the opening instructions at the top;
  • no ornamental scroll;
  • no form number;
  • rectangular box for the date stamp;
  • no ornamental scroll;
  • words at top of message area have "TIME LODGED AND RECEIVED"
  • printed in black on dark green paper.
Printed in April 1918.

Hobart for local delivery
(29 July 1918).


  • thin diagonal arrow at base of top flap;
  • has form number E.T. 2;
  • fine ornamental scroll at the bottom of the address section;
  • no box for date stamp but heading at right;
  • words at the top of the message area (2nd from right) reduced to "TIME LODGED";
  • has TIME RECEIVED in the lower right corner at the base;
  • printed on dull green or blue-green paper.
DO-1D folded
Printed in April 1918 (and with same schedule number as the previous form).

Quarantine Station to New Norfolk (26 July 1919).

Folded to demonstrate the appearance.

This is the version printed on blue-green paper.

Printed July 1919.

Melbourne to Launceston
(15 January 1920).

Has type 2A (v) rubber date stamp which is rated RRR.


  • thin diagonal arrow at base of top flap;
  • date stamp moved to left side and not boxed;
  • fine ornamental scroll in address box;
  • words at the top of the message area have "TIME LODGED";
  • has "TIME RECEIVED" in the lower right corner at the base.

Printed in a range of shades from light green to green-blue.

Printed July 1920.

Strawberry Hills to Windsor, NSW (25 January 1921).


  • printed on thick brown paper.

Given the schedule number is the same as for DO-1Ea and the date of use, this form may have been printed on different paper at the end of printing because the usual paper stock had been exhausted.

Only three examples of this type have been cited (see a Kalgoorlie date stamp - with North removed - for a second example).

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DO-1A Print number 25934 and St 7427. (H) 1 November 1918 at Cootamundra. RRR
DO-1B Index 1019 and L 9565/19*15. 29 May 1919 at Fremantle, WA.
Sent from (HMAS Australia).
DO-1C B.774/2.17. - C.1823. 28 June 1917 at CETO Melbourne. RR
  B.774/2.17. - C.9910. 8 April 1918 at Adelaide. RR
DO-1Da B.774/2.17. - C.3034. 8 April 1919 at Rockdale, NSW. R
  B.774/4.18 - C.4697 12 June 1919 at Port Melbourne, Vic. Sent from (HMAS Australia). R
  B. 774/4.18. - C.5649. 29 July 1918 at Hobart. R
  B.774/2.19. - C.1590. 20 June 1919 at CETO Melbourne. R
DO-1Db L 9565/19 * 15 29 May 1919 at Fremantle RRR
DO-1Ea B.1024/7.19. - C.8666. 21 October 1919 at CETO Melbourne. NC
  B.1024/12.19. - C.18843. 17 July 1920 at Burnley, Vic. NC
  B.1024/7.20. - C.6321. 16 November 1920 at Maryborough, Qld. NC
DO-1Eb B.1024/7.20. - C.6321. 25 January 1921 at Windsor, NSW. RRR