Victoria - Interim period: 1920-1917.
Ordinary rate delivery form: VI-DO-4.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: Form No. T. 8.
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA added above previous colonial heading.
Message area: Blank.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Black on cream.
Size of form overall: 193 × 222 mm.
Size of datestamp box: 28 × 46 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:
In many countries, telegraph forms had been designed so that, when folded, they incorporated an envelope(see an 1882 example from France used for a message from Sydney, Australia). There had long been the view held by some in the Australian Chief Telegraph Offices - even since 1893 in New South Wales - that a single form which incorporated an envelope would be more efficient and reduce errors in processing. That view is despite the fact that few errors were made - as is noted in various Annual Reports.

In 1912, a prototype form and envelope was trialled in at least two Chief Telegraph Offices. The only recorded example for Victoria is shown below while the earlier use of the form in Western Australia is included elsewhere (WI-DO-4). The forms, after folding, were sealed with a specially printed C of A Telegraph stamps which would be torn in two on opening. The concept was later developed further into the first delivery form issued by the Commonwealth without State references for both ordinary rate (AE-DO-1) and urgent rate (AE-DU-1) delivery forms.

VI-DO-4 VI-DO-4.
Tattersall's, Sydney to Melbourne
(Rare Melbourne C.E.T.O. date stamp of 27 February 1912).

Experimental format.

This particular form was discovered in 2011. A similar form - used 5 days previously - had long regarded as being the only genuinely used example of this format (see WI-DO-4).

A really wonderful order to be fulfilled :-)

VI-DO-4 front The above form folded for delivery.
VI-DO-4 rev

The reverse side of the above form showing the Telegraph stamp being used to seal the halves. Opening the telegram would therefore break the seal.

A complete sheet of the stamps is shown with the Western Australian form.

C of A label C of A Telegram label.
Marginal block of six.

Reverse printed in red on unwatermarked gummed paper and perforated 12.

Size: 26 × 23 mm.

The only known sheet still in existence is shown elsewhere.

There are at least three blocks of six including two marginal blocks - one with selvedge on the left and another on the right side - and one strip of 6 with selvedge at the top.

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DO-1 None 27 February 1912 an CETO Melbourne. RRRR