Australia - International.

The growth in the international telegraphic communication to and from Australia can be viewed in terms of both:

  1. the completion of international cables and wireless connections;
  2. the operation of the various companies.

1. The international connections.

The major milestones for the connections to /from Australia are:

22 August 1872 Todd joins the two ends of the Overland Telegraph Line while sitting on the isolated ground at Central Mount Stuart. This join gave direct telegraphic communication across the continent from Port Darwin to Adelaide.
October 1872 Completion of the Overland Telegraph line and
connection via Java to England.
21 February 1876 Completion of the first New Zealand cable.
30 January 1880 Completion of a second Overland Telegraph Line.
23 February 1889 Broome and Batavia (Jakarta) joined by submarine cable which was extended down the coast to Perth.
15 October 1893 Completion of the Brisbane to New Caledonia cable.
1 November 1901 Opening of the Durban (Cape) to Perth cable.
1 March 1902 Extension of the Cape to Glenelg cable to South Australia.
31 October 1902 Opening of the (All red) Pacific Cable.


2. The Companies.

From the Colonial period as early as the 1860s, several private or semi-government companies were involved in the provision of telegraphic services in Australia. These companies constructed lines and provided equipment as well as services to Governments and the general public. In providing services, a range of telegraphic stationery wad to be printed. The periods of operation of the main companies can be compared in the following chart:

Eastern Extension (1870-1934)      
      Pacific Cable (1901-1934)    
      AWA: Beam (1905-1934)    
        AWA: Coastal Radio (1908-1946)  
            C&W (1928-1946)  
                OTC: (1946-1992)

Details of the operations of the various companies and of the stationery they provided can be accessed below.

Company Operations and background Stationery
Eastern Extension Australasian Main page Overview
Pacific Cable Main page and route Overview
Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA). Coastal Radio and the Beam Overview
Cable & Wireless Main page Overview
Marconi Wireless   Overview
Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC). Main page Overview
Telecom   Overview

3. International Stationery.

Earliest recorded forms:  
Message sent to Europe from Australia: 11 February 1873.
Use of an "Australian" delivery form: 4 November 1876 for a transit message from Melbourne to Germany (SC-DO-5A).

Hyperlinks to other main international telegraphic details:

Telegraphic stationery issued
by Postal Authorities during the:
Colonial period. Interim period Cablegrams (NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria). Commonwealth (PMG) period:
transmission forms;
delivery forms;
Cable ships