Telegrams in Australia and in its former Colonies.
Home page.

This site aims to record the details of the development of the telegraphic system in Australia for the general understanding of the people of Australia and for those overseas who have a positive feeling about this wonderful country and its tantalising history. Amongst the many details given are:

All of these stories - and host more - can be found among the 1100+ pages on this site. Use the menu at the top (and described below) to find narratives, to open pages, to read telegraphic stories in old newspapers, to read original reports and documents and to see old Offices, scenes, events, etc.

To complete the story further, I need your assistance. Please contact me at with stories, corrections, information about forms or your local office, etc. I will get back to you.

All suggestions welcome.

Using the site:

The main menu is the key to navigating around the site. When on a page, there are many hyperlinks below the main headings to help move to related items.

The other way is to use the index - found either by clicking on the blue hyperlink 7 words ago or by overing over the heading of the first column of the main menu and moving your cursor down to Index.

To return to a page you may have recently visited, use the back arrow in your computer's menu (in the top left corner).

Using the site menus:

  1. Placing (not clicking) your mouse/cursor above one of the components of the main menu at the top of each page activates the primary sub-menu;
  2. move your cursor down this sub-menu to select a topic of interest and click that topic.
  3. sometimes hovering the cursor above a primary sub-item will activate a secondary sub-menu - so select your topic from that new list.
    The most commonly used secondary sub-items relate to types of telegram form or to features of Telegraph Offices. Try calling up the overview of Telegraph Offices or the Date stamps for one of the Colonies.


Use the first main menu item Site home & details and go down to index. Think of a topic and select the first letter of that word.

Try some of these suggestions:

Experiment. There is nothing to lose.
The site has been designed not to bite back if a mistake is made.
So relax and enjoy.


A telegraph is a system used to transmit and receive a messages over a long distance.

A telegram is the message resulting from that transmission. The word "telegram" was created by the American newspaper Albany Evening Journal on April 6,1852, when the following paragraph appeared:

"A friend desires us to give notice that he will ask leave at some convenient time to introduce a new word into the vocabulary. It is "telegram" instead of "telegraphic communication". 

An electrical telegraph system uses electrical current and magnetism to convert codes to represent words (generally typed into the system using a key or a keyboard) into electrical impulses. These impulses are transmitted over a metallic circuit (overhead wires or underground/submarine cables) to a distant location. At the receiving end, the impulses are converted back into magnetic fields to operate a mechanical device to make a sound or operate a device converting the impulses into a written document of some type - either onto a tape or a (telegram) form.

A Transmission form is a form completed by a person wanting to send a telegram to record a message.

A Delivery form is a form completed by a Telegraph Office official to record a message received at that Office from a distant Office. This form would be delivered to the person named in the message by a Messenger.

A Schedule Number is a code number used by a Central Telegram Office and a printer to track the printing of a particular form or envelope. It uniquely identifies a particular item.

6 June 2015

All suggestions welcome.