South Australia - Colonial period: 1855-1900.
Delivery form: SC-DO-4

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: Form number No. 13.
Has ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH with crest between words.
The Lion and the Unicorn face away from each other in forms A and B.
Message area: 20 boxes in four lines.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Red on cream.
Size of form overall: 194 × 223 mm.
Size of date stamp box: 40 × 34 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:
Provenance: Corinphila Sale 320 Dubois Collection Part 3, November 2023 Lot 30194.
Johnstone Collection.

Wagga Wagga, NSW to Adelaide
Station 20 April 1876.


  • has ADELAIDE in the heading for the receiving Station;
  • has lines after Station for date or time;
  • has date after TELEGRAM FROM ... STATION;
  • ADDRESSED TO has two lines;
  • reverse side is blank.

The date stamp for TELEGRAPH OFFICE (Type 1) has no date but ADELAIDE across the centre. It is very rare.

This form was enclosed in the
S.A. Colonial delivery envelope
SC-EO-3 sent to London.


Melbourne to Heidelberg, Germany repeated at Glenelg.
4 November 1876.

Very early usage of a hand stamp on a telegram. Also earliest recorded example of an Australian telegram crossing the Overland Telegraph line (4 years after opening). Earlier forms with messages transiting the Australian Colonies are included elsewhere elsewhere.



  • no heading for the name of the receiving Station;
  • no lines after Station top section for date or time.
  • ADDRESSED TO has two lines.
  • the message area has four rows of five boxes.
  • Reverse side is blank.

Five early forms from Sydney to Marseilles, France using the Overland Telegraph Line are shown elsewhere.


Adelaide to Port Augusta.
22 April 1892.

Very rare T.O date stamp.

The message both front and back is completely whited out - unfortunately common with so many South Australian telegrams.


  • no heading for the name of the Receiving Station - so here a SL hand stamp was used.
  • ADDRESSED TO has three lines.
  • the message area has five rows of four boxes.
  • NOTE at the bottom has "unless at the end of line 1 and PLEASE TURNOVER in the lower right corner.
  • reverse side has 17 rows of 4 boxes for the message.
  • At the base of the reverse side are two lines for "SIGNATURE AND FULL/ ADDRESS OF THE SENDER.

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DO-4A None 20 April 1876 at Adelaide Station. RRRR
DO-4B None. 4 November 1876 at Glenelg. RRRR
DO-4C None. 22 April 1892 at Port Augusta. RRRR