Post & Telegraph Offices on the first line.


The following Telegraph Offices are included in this page:

Bowenville Drayton Grandchester Ipswich Ipswich Railway TelegraphStation
Toowoomba Warwick Warwick Railway Telegraph Station    


The Telegraph

On 15 December 1866, The Queenslander reported that "of the fifty town lots in the town of Bowenville, one acre each, upset price £8 per acre, but one lot was sold. The twelve country lots near the town of Bowenville were purchased at the upset price of £1 per acre".

(Ed: Local postage was then 1d and there were 240 pennies in £1. Compare the above prices using 240 times our cost for posting a local letter now.)

Bowenville was sometimes referred to by its alias - the Long Waterhole.

An oval ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH OFFICE was issued to the Bowenville office:

Used: No date.

Size: uncertain.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.



The Telegraph Office was opened on 15 October 1861 as part of the first line.

The Darling Downs Post Office had been opened on 1 January 1846 by New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District. It changed its name to Drayton in 1848.

In 1880, 253 messages were sent including 36 OHMS messages. The telegraph staff consisted of 1 operator.

The North Australian of 6 September 1864 reported that "some dissatisfaction had been expressed at the reported intention to remove the telegraph office from Drayton and consequently it may be of interest to state what we believe to be the intentions of Government in this matter.

Mr. Cramp, along with his establishment, will be removed to one of the new Northern stations, when both his duties and his salary will be increased. A telegraphic apparatus, which cost £200, and an expensive establishment are considered unnecessary at Drayton, where there is no present probability that it will become a 'repeating' station. A number of instruments capable of being worked by any person able to read and write, have been ordered from London, and one of these will be sent to Drayton, and placed under the charge of some subordinate official in the employment of Government. Similar instructions will be sent to Laidley, Joindaryan and other intermediate places between the different district telegraph offices".


Originally called Bigge's Camp, the name Grandchester become more common during the 1860s. The railway was opened in July 1865 as Grandchester and so the name was generally used thereafter.

The Telegraph Office opened in 1864 as Bigge's Camp. It is between Ipswich and Gatton.

Grandchester in 1867 - about two years after the railway had been opened.
Courtesy of John Oxley Library.

The telegraph connection between Brisbane and Ipswich was completed successfully on 11 April 1861 and the Telegraph Office opened on Saturday 13 April - but there are conflicting reports about where the telegraph office was located when it opened.

The Northern Australian of 26 March 1861 reported that "Mr. Cramp's school room in East Street has been selected as the temporary telegraph office for Ipswich and the batteries and furniture for the office have been forwarded from Brisbane. Tables and chairs are amongst the articles forwarded - the authorities doubtless considering that such elaborate works of mechanical skill could not be obtained in this locality. The fitting up of the room has been commenced by Mr. Shenton and we expect that in the course of a few days we shall have instantaneous communication with Brisbane".

Another report claimed that the telegraph office opened "in a temporary brick building in East Street built originally as a billiard's room for the Queen's Arms Hotel. It was subsequently moved to Brisbane Street partly to enable the Ipswich Municipal Council to hold its meetings there. The Council had begun in April 1860 with meetings in the present Court House before moving to Thorn's (Palais Royal Hotel) and then to East Street".

The opening ceremony was conducted with all the usual congratulations being expressed - "there being about the same amount of bowing and scraping usual to the opening of public institutions with this difference, however, that the bowers and scrapers were twenty five miles distant from each other" (Maryborough Chronicle 25 April 1861).

Ipswich 1940
Ipswich Post & Telegraph Office about 1900s..

The Moreton Bay Courier of 16 April 1861 stated that "Of the buildings for which plans have been prepared, the only one is the Telegraph Station at Ipswich, tenders for which will shortly be called for".

The Post Office had been opened on 2 January 1846 by New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District.

Mr. W. J. Cracknell was the Ipswich Station Master until his promotion to General Superintendent of Telegraphs in Queensland in April 1863.

Plans for the erection of a permanent telegraph office at Ipswich were in the course of preparation by April 1861 in the Colonial Architect's office. It was publicised in the Moreton Bay Courier (23 April 1861) that "when the building was completed, it would present rather a handsome appearance, besides comprehending all the advantages of a permanent  telegraphic station".

The Courier of 17 July 1862 reported the completion of the Telegraph Office (in Brisbane Street) in the following terms: "The Ipswich Post Office, conjoined to which is the Telegraph Office, is all but finished, and will certainly not prove a contemptible addition to the street architecture of that town".

The Queensland Country Life of 23 July 1900 reported that a large Post and Telegraph Office was just nearing completion in Ipswich.

In 1880, 8,158 messages were sent including 407 OHMS messages. The telegraph staff consisted of an Electric Telegraph Station Master, 1 operator, 1 line repairer, 2 clerical assistants and 1 messenger.

In a sad footnote, the Queensland Times announced that, on the 13 December 1862, Isabella, the youngest daughter of W. J. Cracknell (then Station Master) died - aged 18 months. On a happier note, his (unnamed) wife gave birth to a son in December 1863.

Ipswich main st
Shops along the main Street of Ipswich about 1925.

A special circular date stamp was issued to Ipswich for use with telegraphs.

Used in black: 10 March 1916
to 8 November 1917.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 3.


10 March 1916.
Used on an ordinary rate delivery form (which cannot be identified because of the dreadful trimming!!!).

27 February 1917.
8 November 1917.
Used on an Urgent rate delivery form _
Possibly QI-DU-1 .
Slogan cancellation:

A SEND A TELEGRAM slogan cancellation was used at Ipswich between 14 April 1939 and 9 May 1940.

Ipswich SEND
9 May 1940.
A over EG (Die 1).
Ipswich Railway Telegraph Station.

Opened on 21 May 1874 and had only telegraphic services until 1915 when postal services were also incorporated.

The office was closed in April 1928.

In 1880, 4,885 messages were sent including 3,791 OHMS messages. The telegraph staff consisted of 2 operators.

A circular steel Ipswich RTS date stamp was issued to the Railway Office for telegram use. It is seen used on postal items only after March 1915.

Use of the Ipswich RTS date stamp on a Telegram form is not recorded.

Used in black:
11 March 1913, 4 April 1913, 22 Aug 1913,
18 and 29 December 1913.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 6.

A standard Type 5b format for non-Brisbane offices with date in one line, a circular stop at each side, no time and month in 3 letters.

11 March 1913.
4 April 1913.

18 December 1913.
Image courtesy of Steve Rust.

A note on the operation of this Office - and on many others - was published in the Queensland Times and in the Ipswich Herald of 2 September 1891:

To the Editor of the Queensland Times:

Sir, With your permission, I would like to point out where a great improvement could be effected in the Railway Telegraph Office in Ipswich. Before doing so I will state my reasons.

On Thursday last, at midnight, a message was transmitted from here to the Ipswich Railway Telegraph Office for a medical gentlemen of your town. This message it appears, was duly delivered to the gentleman referred to, by a constable, who I presume was then on duty at the Railway Station. The doctor wired a reply to the effect that he was unable to start then, but, if still required, he would be ready to start at 6 a.m. on Friday. To this a reply was at once sent, that be was to start at the hour named. This last message to the doctor was not delivered to him till 9 a.m,, thus causing a loss of three hours.

I wish it to be distinctly understood that, in this delay, no blame can be attached to any of the officials concerned, as they did all that was required of them. Too much praise cannot be given to our station-master, Mr. Mullvihill, who got up without a murmur and opened his office, sent the messages, and waited for the reply.

Now, what I wish to point out is this: There are several night porters always on duty at the railway station. One of these could surely be spared to deliver any message such as the one I refer to, and that without any extra expense to the Railway Department. I am sure anyone requiring a doctor would readily pay any extra charge that would be made.

As the above concerns the whole of West Moreton, I hope some abler pen than mine will take the matter up, and not rest until this boon is granted. I may mention that the woman requiring the doctor's aid died within a very short time after the doctor's arrival. Now, it is just possible that the woman's life might have been saved had the above delay not occurred.

I sincerely trust that one of the members for Ipswich or West Moreton will call the attention of our Railway Commissioners to this  state of affairs. I feel confident they would have the matter remedied without delay. As I pointed out before, it would cause no extra expense to the railway department, and would very often prevent much unnecessary delays, and, perhaps, be the means of saving life. In the case referred to above, all the officials acted in a very obliging manner, and are is no way to blame. Trusting you will insert this in your valuable columns.

I am, yours truly, G. SPRESSER Lowood; September 1.


A Post Office was opened on 1 January 1858 by New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District. It was classified as one of the 26 Official Post & Telegraph offices before 1892.

The telegraphic connection with Brisbane was made at 5:30 pm on 17 August 1861. The first message came from the Mayor of Toowoomba, who was in Brisbane at the time, and was addressed to Alderman Boulton "presenting his compliments to his fellow townsmen and begs to congratulate them on the establishment of Telegraphic Communication between Brisbane and Toowoomba". A congratulatory telegram soon arrived from the Mayor of Ipswich.

On 9 July 1861, The committee of the local School of Arts had "received notice from the Government- Architect to remove the building now used as a reading-room and library as tenders will shortly be called for the erection of the Post and Telegraph Offices and tbe reading room occupies a portion of the space set apart for that building".

In 1880, 12,800 messages were sent including 1,579 OHMS messages. The telegraph staff consisted of an Electric Telegraph Station Master, 2 operators, 1 line repairer, 2 clerical assistants and 1 messenger.


On 17 October 1892, a team of five men from Toowoomba played a team of five men from the Brisbane School of Arts Chess Club - with all moves being sent by telegraph. The Minister, on the advice of Mr. Cowl, Manager of the Electric Telegraph Office, gave permission for a special line to be used for the 4½ hours of the tournament. Brisbane won 4-1. "The players fully appreciated the promptness and accuracy with which messages were transmitted". Toowoomba 1874
Toowoomba Post and Telegraph Office about 1874.
Toowoomba c. 1910
Picture taken about 1910 - P&T office at right.
Source: Australian National Archives - J2879 QTH102.
ToowoombaPicture taken about 1900.

Telegraph stories abound thankfully - and sometimes they describe situations which still are manifest 150 years or more later. The Maryborough Chronicle of 12 December 1868 reported one such incident:

"The utter desolation and abandonment of a town, formerly populous, to the beasts of the forest, was never more graphically depicted than in the following paragraph of our respected contemporary, the D. D. Gazette: Just before we went to press, the 'guardian of the night' informed us that 'a bear' had mounted the telegraph post opposite our office. Having a misgiving as to whether Mr. Bruin was a spy upon the mysteries of our office or whether he was engaged on legitimate business, we adjourned for enquiry and found him involved in the most abstruse study of the wires connected with the Telegraphic Office below. His cogitations were rudely disturbed by the 'oysterman' who captured the poor fellow and consigned him to his basket - for what purpose we leave our readers to suppose. But for the unfortunate interposition of the so called 'oysterman' — we presume, from his being the last "native" left in Toowoomba, the sociable creature meant doubtless to telegraph to his mates along the line to come and join him - the coast being now clear".

To finish: The Brisbane Courier of 19 August 1873 published the following about the Post and Telegraph Offices in Toowoomba:

"I had read somewhere that the Post Office and the Electric Telegraph office were creditable pubic buildings. Of the Post Office, enough has been said, but I cannot affirm that the Telegraph Office is discreditable for, as a building, it does not exist. You go to it down a narrow passage, beset at the entrance by a solicitors' chambers - into which one may unwittingly walk to a not very pleasant discomfiture. Some day, it is to be supposed, there will be a decent public structure for the telegraph as also a decent railway station How tho courteous and diligent Station Master can maintain his good temper in the dismal hole to which he is committed, must ever remain an insoluble problem".

Three formats for a steel TELEGRAPH date stamp were used at Toowoomba:

    Separation marks are small open circles.

Used in violet: 13 Junr 1906 to
29 August 1906.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

13 June 1906.
Used on QC-DO-8.

29 August 1906.

Used on QC-EO-7.


Used in blue: 6 February 1914.
Separation marks are closed circles.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

6 February 1914.

On 2d grey Kangaroo perfin McP.



Used in black: 21 August 1919 to
12 May 1936.
Separation marks are closed circles.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

21 August 1919.

12 May 1936.
    1 mm dashes for separation marks.

Used in black: 16 May 1968 to
15 January 1970.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 2.

16 May 1968.

Used on AA-EC-3Ad (67).


Confirmatory Copy delivery envelope (AA-EC-3Ad (67)) used at Toowoomba 16 May 1968.

A SEND A TELEGRAM slogan cancellation was used at Toowoomba:

Date stamp: Circle.

Base inscription:

Earliest date of this format:
13 April 1938 (?) -or 4 January 1939.

Latest date of this format:
9 October 1940.

Characteristics: Die 4A -
A over G (only) of TELEGRAM.

Too 1938
13 April 1938.


The Telegraph Office was opened on 22 October 1861 at Albion Street.

The Post Office had been opened on 1 January 1848 as a receiving office by New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District. It conducted business from W. H. Brown's store at the corner of Albion and Albert Streets. It was one of the 15 Post Offices opened by New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District and it was transferred to Queensland on 1 December 1859.

About two weeks after the Queensland inter-colonial line had been opened, a reporter from the Courier visited the new Telegraph Office through the courtesy of the Station Master:

"I cannot say I was very favorably impressed. The Office seemed to me to be far too small for an important station, neither do the officer's private quarters seem the most comfortable in the world. Government, however, will no doubt in time, when they see the profits to be realised, build on their own "hook". It is difficult in country towns to rent buildings suitable for purposes of this description"
(Courier 23 November 1861).

Warwick 1875
This new stone building, erected in 1870 in Albion Street,
combined the formerly separate post and telegraph services.

Warwick Post & Telegraph Office in the early 1880s.

These buildings, situated in Albion Street, include the Lands Office on the right, the Post & Telegraph Office in the centre and Russell Wilkins & Co., on the left

Warwick 1889Picture taken about 1889 - renovated in 1898.

Picture taken about 1902.

In 1880, 8,016 messages were sent including 933 OHMS messages. The telegraph staff consisted of an Electric Telegraph Station Master, 1 line repairer, 1 clerical assistant and 1 messenger.

As was (and still is) common in Queensland, severe storms strike all too regularly and damage is sugnificant. In July 1893, the North Queensland Register was one of a number of newspapers reporting "A heavy thunderstorm occurred at Warwick this morning. The Post and Telegraph Office was struck by lightning, doing considerable damage to the wires and building".


Warwick Railway Telegraph Office.

In 1880, 2,228 messages were sent including 1,827 OHMS messages.

The staff of the Telegraph section consisted of one operator.

Warwick Railway Station about 1912.
No special date stamp for use with telegraph work appears to have been issued to Warwick.

A SEND A TELEGRAM slogan cancellation was used at Warwick.

Date stamp: Circle.

Base inscription:

Earliest date of this format:
4 January 1939.

Latest date of this format:
9 October 1940.

Characteristics: Die 4A - A over G (only) of TELEGRAM.

4 Jan 1940
4 January 1939.