Tasmania - Colonial period: 1857-1900.
Ordinary rate delivery form: TC-DO-1.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: No form number.
Heading is BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH under the Crest.
No Postal Authority indicated.
Message area: Blank (in 1A to 1D) or boxed (in 1E).
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Black on blue.
Size of form overall: 214 × 171 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:


The main distinctions amongst the five formats can be summarised as follows:

Format number Date starts with: Message area Space for CLERK. Signature located at right and:
1A 185_ Blank Yes- below Check. Above WORDS
1B 186_ Blank No Above WORDS
1C 186_ Blank No Above CHECK
1D 18__ Blank No Above CHECK
1E 187_ Boxed No Level with CHECK



Sydney to Launceston
24 February 1860.


  • beautifully detailed, clear and very large crest;
  • in crest, lion's head is upright and the unicorn has a thick neck and the tail points horizontally;
  • date starts "185_ " confirming this to be the format first used in Tasmania;
  • has a space for "Time" after the Date line;
  • has a signature (i.e. name) of the sender plus a space for the Clerk's signature.

This is a very special form and is the earliest recorded date for a Tasmanian telegraph form.

As the telegram came from Sydney, it would have been transmitted through the cable which began operation about six months before.

The "4/-" at the base is a problem to interpret. Although it looks like a cost, the form noted below as being the 2nd ERD has a ms inscription which is not a monetary amount.

A second telegram very similar to that above is known for 2 March 1860. Again the "5" of the date has been over-written. It has the same sender and recipient (and Clerk) and contained 22 words at a cost of 15/6.  
Provenance: Dingle Smith.

Hobart to Launceston
4 June 1963.


  • Crest is 63 mm wide;
  • Crest has been changed with lion's head leaning back and unicorn having a slender neck and a tail pointing up;
  • date starts "186_ ";
  • has a signature (i.e. name) of the sender but no space for the Clerk's signature.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

Hobarton to Launceston.
12 December 1867.


  • date starts "186_ ";
  • has a signature (i.e. name) of the sender which is nearly level with the CHECK line.

Campbell Town to Launceston 20 July 1870.


  • beautifully detailed, clear and very large crest - which is the same as for DO-1B;
  • date starts "18 " (so perhaps printed in the late 1860s);
  • no lines except for date;
  • no space for Clerk's initials and "Signature" has been moved to the base of the form.

To Launceston.
12 August 1871.


  • date starts with "187_ ";
  • single line after "Message for";
  • 28 boxes in seven lines.


Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DO-1A None. 24 February 1860. RRRR
DO-1B None. 4 June 1863 at Hobart. RRR
DO-1C None. 20 July 1870 at Launceston. RR (used)
DO-1D None. 12 August 1871 at Hobarton. RRR
DO-1E None 3 June 1871 at Donnelly. RRR