South Australia - Colonial period: 1855-1900.
Date stamps.


South Australia produced an overprint and two types of sate stamp for related telegraph use:

  1. a, Superintendent of Telegraphs overprint;
  2. usual postal date stamps used on telegrams;
  3. date stamps which referenced Telegraphs in the inscription.


Special S.T. overprint - not a date stamp.

A special overprint (but not a date stamp) comprising the initials S.T. (meaning Superintendent of Telegraphs) was produced in South Australia for use on official postal items related to the Telegraph Department. It was used in red and in black.

See details elsewhere.


Use of ordinary postal date stamps.

As was usual across all the Colonies, the staff in the Telegraph Offices had to write the name of the Office receiving a telegram and the date on the delivery forms for the incoming messages. Especially in the bigger Offices with large numbers of incoming messages, this requirement became time-consuming and boring.

In the early 1870s, the Telegraph Department approved the use of postal date stamps on transmission and delivery telegraph forms. The earliest recorded use of a postal date stamp on a delivery form was at Glenelg on 4 November 1876. The earliest recorded use of a postal date stamp on a transmission form is at Morgan on 3 February 183.

Unlike the other Colonies, South Australia had little variety in its date stamps and there were few which were explicitly issued for use with telegrams and for telegraphic business. Almost all offices simply used the usual postmark canceller - such as those shown in the table below. All examples shown below were struck on telegrams. There was some variety in the formats of the date stamps issued to Post & Telegraph Offices.

Unframed date stamp with arcs in lower half.

The Glenelg date stamp shown here is the earliest use of a date stamp on a telegraph form. It was a form used th repeat a message from Melbourne to be forwarded to Germany through the Overland Telegraph line (1872).

4 November 1876.
Used on SC-DO-4A.
Diameter: 21 mm.
5 mm side arcs.
Two line date.
Dot between SA.
The apparent circle is only the rim of the canceller being stamped too hard.

22 July 1891.
Used on SC-DO-7.
Diameter: 21 mm.
5 mm side arcs.
Two line date plus counter number 1.
2 mm arc between SA.

Squared circle date stamps.

The Morgan date stamp is the earliest known used on a transmission form.

3 February 1894.
Used on SC-TO-3C.
Size: 27 × 27 mm.

Adelaide Railway.
26 September 1907.
Used on SI-DO-2A.
Size: 27 × 27 mm.

SC1: Full circle date stamps.

S.A. at the base.


Port Augusta.
6 May 1878.
Used onSC-DO-6Aa.
Diameter: 24 mm.
3 mm side arcs.
S.A at the base.

SC1: Full circle date stamps (modern).

Sth AUSTR(ALIA) at the base.

North Adelaide.
1 April 1915.
Used on
mm side arcs.
Has a time slug.

Sth. Australia at the base.

28 October 1940.
Used on
mm side arcs.
Sth. Austr at the base.


Date stamps showing Telegraph Office (T. O.).

There are only five types of Telegraph date stamp recorded for South Australia. Four types were made of steel and the other type from rubber. These Telegraph date stamps in steel were mainly used in offices in or near Adelaide although the rubber ones were issued to any suitable office:

  1. Telegraph Office (at CTO);
  2. Telegraph Department (at CTO);
  3. Chief Telegraph Office (at CTO);

  4. Steel Telegraph Office date stamp:
    {Location} in a circle with the Office being complete words or T.O. only;
  5. Rubber Telegraph Office date stamp:
    The main variation amongst the types produced is shape - circular or oval.
Telegraph Office complete with {location} - steel.


Diameter: 29 mm.
No date (used March 1878) but PORT across centre. TELEGRAPH OFFICE around the double circles.
Very early.


Telegraph Department/ Adelaide - steel.
Hexagonal shape.

Used in violet: 6 February 1894 to 7 February 1895.
Used in red: 14 July 1902 to July 8 1904 (day and month reversed).

Size: 20 × 46 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4 violet and 3 red.

6 February 1894.
Telegraph Office as only T.O. with {location} - steel.
T.O. Port Augusta.
22 April 1892.

Diameter: 22 mm.
Used on SC-DO-4B.

T.O. Mount Gambier.
19 January 1970.
Used on Confirmatory Delivery
envelope AA-EC-3Ae (68).
Telegraph Section - rubber.
Circular Telegraph Office - rubber - used outside of the CTO.

Kadina Telegraph Office.
Used 3 August 1968 to 17 December 1975.
Diameter: 33 mm.
Used on AA-DO-13D.

Rubber oval date stamp.
Used in violet.

Adel OvalAdelaide Oval.
29 January 1971.