South Australia - Colonial: 1856 -1900.
Telegraph offices in suburban Adelaide

The Telegraph Offices listed below are mainly those which are now regarded as being within the Adelaide suburban area - although they were not necessarily classified like that during the1800s. Offices such as Glenelg have however been assigned to the lines which were constructed from those places.

Adelaide Oval.

A Telegraph Office is listed as operating at the Adelaide Oval from 31 May 1933 to February 1964 but only during major sporting events. There is however firm evidence that the Office was opened in 1911 and at least the date stamp was in use in 1971.

The Office used an rubber oval date stamp with TELEGRAPH OFFICE at the top.

Very few examples of the date stamp are known.
Walker (2004, p. 23) shows an example used on 11 November

Size: 34 × 53 mm (e = 0.77).

AO 1971 on piece
29 January 1971.
Used on a form.

Another example is recorded with this date on a Phonogram form.

Proofs without the date stamp
of unknown origin and for an unknown purpose.
Dry Creek.

Now an industrial suburb about 10 km north of Adelaide. It was originally known as Montague Village. It has been a garden village, the site for an explosives depot and the centre of an important and major wetlands area.

A Post Office was established at Dry Creek on 21 January 1850 but it was closed in 1852. After considerable agitation by the local community, the Post Office was re-opened later in 1852 but closed again in 1857. Finally a Telegraph Station was established in 1861 when the Post Office was again re-opened. The two Offices continued to operate until closed on 30 September 1907.

Post Office had also been opened at the Dry Creek Railway Station on 1 January 1884 and it continued to operate.

In April 1910, the Dry Creek offices were re-opened but with a change of name to Dry Creek Railway Station through an amalgamation of the buildings. The creation of a Telephone Office was also announced. Almost immediately, the name was again changed back to Dry Creek.

DRY CREEK RY STATION squared circle date stamp.

Used: 12 February 1898.

Rated (used on a telegram form): RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


Dry Creek
12 February 1898.
Used during the Post Office period.
Squared circle date stamp - DRY CREEK.

Used: 10 January 1920
(but probably 30th as telegram form is stamped METROPOLITAN ABATTOIRS 30 Jan)

Diameter: 37 mm.

Rated (used on a telegram form: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1
Used on a telegram form (AE-DO-1Ea).

10 January 1920.

Hindley Street.

Opened as a Receiving House on 21 July 1851 but closed on 1 January 1861 when pillar boxes were erected in Adelaide City.

It re-opened as an Official Post and Telegraph Office when the office at the Adelaide Railway Station was closed on 25 January 1965. On 29 November 1996 the office was moved to the Station Arcade with the same name. On 24 April 1997, the name was changed to the Adelaide Station Arcade.

No special date stamp for Telegraph use in recorded.

One source indicates a slogan date stamp for the Overland Telegraph Centenary was used at Hindley Street but no example is recorded.


The telegraph Office opened at Magill on 5 August 1880.

A Post Office had opened there on 3 January 1850 but it closed on 29 February 1852. It then reopened in 1854.

In such a remote community as Magill, communication was important. On Tuesday 2 March 1880, a deputation met the Minister of Education stressing the importance of telegraphic communication for Magill

"praying for the establishment of a new Post Office, combined with a Telegraph Office, at Magill. It was pointed out that the laying down of a line to the vice-regal residence at Marble Hill would afford special facilities for connecting Magill with the city by wire. The deputation urged that at present the only method of obtaining telegraphic communication with town was to send in to Norwood by special messenger a method which involved considerable expense".

Magill postmark for postal purposes used on a telegram.
Has S.A. at base and 4 mm side arcs.

Used on a telegram: 25 April 1935.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated (used on a telegram): RR.

Number in the Census: 1.

25 April 1935.
Used on AB-DO-8F (12/1933 printing).

Magill postal cancellations on nine 4c red Queen Elizabeth
possibly paying part of the basic telegram rate of 36c for 12 words introduced 10 days previously.

Has SA - AUST. at base.
11 October 1967 on form AA-TO-12.


The Telegraph Office was opened on 28 August 1882. A Post Office had opened on 3 January 1850 and then it closed and reopened in February and March 1852.

Mitcham was originally on the line to Clarendon through Coromandel Valley.

North Adelaide.

The Post Office had opened on 3 January 1850, closed on 1 January 1861 and then reopened in February 1876.

A deputation had requested a Post & Telegraph Office during a meeting on 1 April 1873. The Telegraph Office opened on 24 March 1875 on the premises of Mr. Watson in O'Connell Street. A new Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 15 August 1975.

On 6 September 1876, the Hon. A. Blyth moved:

"That it is the opinion of this House that the Government should secure without delay a suitable site in Adelaide whereon to erect a Telegraph and Post Office. North Adelaide might almost have been called a suburb some years ago but it had since largely increased and there were several places suburban to it. He was not asking that a building should be erected at once; but its erection could not be postponed very long. At present there was a Post Office at a Chemist shop and there was also a Telegraph. Office and these would serve North Adelaide itself. But the suburbs around North Adelaide would look to that part of the city for a central Post and Telegraph Office. If the opportunity was lost, the result would be that the Government would have to pay a much higher price for the site. An acre just purchased by the Council of Education and the allotment on which the Police Station stood were the only piece of land held by the Government in North Adelaide. It would be improper to ask that any portion of the school site should be used for these buildings but, if the Government thought it desirable to set apart a portion of the land for that purpose, a great part of his objection to the present state of things would be done away with. He believed an eligible site could be obtained at a reasonable rate near the Baptist Church in Tynte Street which was as near as possible to the centre of North Adelaide".

It was deemed in 1875 that the charge for a 10-word message should be 6/- This charge was considered acceptable because "residents in the northern division of the capital will now be able to get their telegrams delivered as quickly as those in other portions of the city".

A squared circle date stamp was issued to the Office for use with telegrams as well as postal items.

Used (on a telegram): 3 April 1900.

Size: 24 × 24 mm.

Rated (on a telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census: 1


3 April 1900.
Used on SC-DO-8A.
2 mm arc between S and A.

12 May 1903.
Also used on SC-DO-8A.
Has a dot between S and A.

SC1: Circular steel date stamp.
Sth Australia at base.

2 mm side arcs.
Has time.

Used (on telegram): 1 April 1915.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated(on telegram): RR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 1.

1 April 1915.


In November 1873, Mr. Smith asked in the House for a sum of £2,000 be placed on the Estimates "for the purpose of erecting a Telegraph Station and Post Office at Norwood ... the present Post-Office at Norwood was rented by the Government from a private individual, but now that telegraphic communication was to be extended to that very important suburb he thought it highly necessary, especially as such buildings in many small country towns were under the supervision of the Government, that the same should be the case there. At present there were two deliveries a day and three letter-carriers who had to travel over 60 miles of road a day - having to deliver at Hackney, College Town, Stepney, Norwood, Kensington and Marryatville. ".

The Chief Secretary elaborated on the situation and prospects as follows:

"(he) found that in the Government service, there was a gentleman named Fry and that the amount of work which the Government got out of him was something very remarkable. He received £300 a year and he had to provide means for delivering the letters at the various townships referred to which required the services of two men and two ponies. The matter had been considered by the Postmaster-General and he hoped some arrangement could be made with Mr. Fry by which the working of a telegraphic instrument could be conducted at the Post Office for a comparatively small sum and, having arrived at some reasonable estimate of the amount of business which would be done at Norwood, the Government would be able at no distant date to decide what amount it would be proper to ask for a Post Office and Telegraph Station. He gave the Hon. member a promise in good faith that this matter should be considered in framing the Estimates for 1874-5".
(South Australian Register 27 November, p. 6)

The Telegraph Office at Norwood opened on 26 April 1875. This was presumably as a temporary office because a new two storey Post & Telegraph Office was erected on the Parade adjacent to the Institute. It was described as being "neat and ornamental". The cost was £1,430.

Six years after opening, a Telegram Messenger boy met a sad end while delivering a telegram from the Norwood Telegram Office.

The Parade in Norwood about 1915.
The Post & Telegraph Office - with the clock tower - is behind the tram.

A Telegraph Office was opened in Parkside on 16 February 1885.

A Post Office had opened there in 1859.

The Gazette of 19 Aug 1891 recorded that £450 had been set in the Estimates for a Post &Telegraph Office.

Parkside squared circle date stamp.

Used in black (on telegram): 30 July 1904.

Size: 28 × 28 mm.

Rated (on telegram): RRR,

Number in the Census (on telegram): 1.

30 July 1904.
Used in SI-DO-1.
Rundle Street.

The Telegraph Office opened on 30 January 1882. It was then known as Adelaide Rundle Street East.

The Post Office opened on 1 February 1882.

Some (rare) postmarks are known of Rundle Street East.

Steel circular date stamp.

Used in black (on telegram): 2 March 1928 to
11 July 1930.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated (on telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 2.

11 July 1930.
Used on AB-DO-4.
Saint Peters.

A Telegraph Office opened in January 1887.

The Post Office had opened on 1 November 1886.

St. Peters Post and Telegraph Office about 1900.


SC1: Steel circular date stamp.
Sth. AUSTRALIA at base.
3 mm side arcs.

Used (on telegram): 7 December 1914 to
22 December 1919.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 2.

7 December 1914.
Used on SI-DO-5A.
SC1: Steel circular date stamp.
SOUTH - AUST at base.
3 mm side arcs and 1 m arc at base.

Used (on telegram): 3 January 1950..

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 3.

3 January 1950.
Used on AW-DO-10 (45).


A Telegraph Office was announced in November 1898.

A Post Office had been opened in 1850.

SC1: Steel circular date stamp.
SOUTH AUST. at base.
2 mm side arcs.

Used (on telegram): 6 June 1975.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 1.

6 June 1975.
Used on AA-DO-11.


A Post Office was opened at Unley on 16 January 1850 but it closed on 29 February 1852 only to be re-opened in 1853.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 11 October 1880.

In reporting the occasion, the South Australian Advertiser of 12 October 1880 wrote:

"An improved state of affairs was initiated in the rising suburb of Unley by the opening of a new Post and Telegraph office in the municipality on Monday October 11. Hitherto the Post Office has been connected with Mr. Samson's store but on its being decided to extend telegraphic communication to Unley, a building on the Adelaide and Mitcham Road was obtained and converted into a Post and Telegraph office. The office is not a pretentious structure, but will no doubt prove quite efficient for the present necessities of the inhabitants and it is confidently expected that it is might be the precursor of greater things. The office was formally opened at noon by His Worship the Mayor of Unley (Mr. W. Townsend, JLP.), who was accompanied by Mr. C. Todd, C.M.G. (P.M.G. and S.T.) and several representative residents of the township".

Unley Post & Telegraph Office. Probably taken in the 1880s.

No date stamp was ever used at Unley explicitly for use with telegrams.
Instead the usual postal date stamp was used on telegrams.

SC1: Steel circular date stamp.
Sth AUSTRALIA at the base.

Used (on a telegram): 3 February 1923..

Diameter: 27 mm.

Rated (used on a telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 1.


3 February 1923.
Used on AE-DO-2A (ERD for that form).

RC2: Rubber circular date stamp with two circles on the perimeter.
SOUTH AUST. at base (probably).
No side arcs.

Used (on a telegram): 12 April 1946.

Diameter: 27 mm.

Rated (used on a telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 1.

12 April 1946.
Used on AW-DO-10C (1944).