Tasmania: 1857-1988.
Telegraph Offices on the first line.


Telegraph Offices included on the first line are:

Bothwell Brighton Campbell Town Evandale George Town
Green Ponds Launceston Longford Oatlands Ross


The telegraph wires were extended to Bothwell in January 1870 and temporary premises were used until a Telegraph Office was opened in 1871 at the Post Office with Sarah Robinson as the Operator. The Post Office had opened in 1832.

Bothwell is the home of Ratho - the oldest golf course in Australia. It was built in the 1850s - before the telegraph was connected! It is also now the home for Nant distilleries.

Bothwell Post & Telegraph Office - as confirmed by the sign above the door. This building was constructed about 1890.
Bothwell 2
Bothwell Post Office - after recent renovations.
Bothwell 1910
Bothwell and the surrounding region about 1910.


The earliest recorded example of telegraph use at Bothwell is a transmission form (TC-TO-1B) dated 7 November 1870 used for a message from Bothwell to Hobarton - see elsewhere.

The earliest recorded telegrams related to Bothwell are:

  1. A transmission form (TC-DO-1B) dated 7 November 1870 foor a message to Hobart.

  2. a transmission form (TC-TO-2) dated 5 June 1871 for a message possibly from Hobart.

Used 5 June 1871 - a few months after opening: "ARE ALL OK NEED WE COME BACK TODAY?"

In the post-1902 period, postal cancellations used at Bothwell were of the standard format in steel.

No special date stamp was issued to Bothwell for use with telegrams.

The type 2C steel date stamp:

Used on telegrams: 22 January 1948 - 4 March 1953.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: R.

Number in the Census used on a telegram: 3.

4 March 1953.
Used on AW-DO-10 (1950).

During a visit to New York in 1854, John Young wrote to his friend and neighbour at Bothwell as follows:

"In the business portion of the town (New York) the streets are all very narrow, the houses immensely high, and the earth burrowed out and vaulted not only under houses but under the streets. While overhead, telegraph-wires are running and crossing each other through the air, whispering what was the price of stocks at New Orleans and at Halifax five minutes ago - carrying the congress bunkum-debates of this forenoon at Washington to the newspaper offices, where the fellows are setting-up the Speech in type before the orator has finished 300 miles off. This is not like Bothwell. New York is a nervous and highly feverish patient, hysterical, irritable, with a determination of blood to the head & a decided tendency to delirium tremens. Bothwell is a quiet and healthy shepherd whose food is mutton and his drink Clyde water (not unmingled with moderate brandy), lying on a sunny hill under a honeysuckle, listening to the sheep-bells".

Brighton (Pontville).

The Telegraph Office was located at the Post Office (by 1871).

Brighton was, for a short time, discussed by Lachlan Macquarie as being the place for the capital of the penal colony.

The earliest indication of the operation of the Telegraph Office at Pontville is an ad hoc form using plain light blue paper for a telegram probably sent from Pontville (to Hobart?) on 11 July 1871. The cost of this message was 2/3 for the 25 words1 shilling for the first 10 words and 1d for each extra word
(15d = 1s 3d)
. Following the '2/3' is the annotation FREE because the telegram about Electoral Rolls was Government business.

Ad hoc form used at Pontville on 11 July 1871.


1871: Robert Dyer was appointed as Operator


The earliest recorded telegram to Brighton is 19 June 1871 from Green Ponds (Cable form).

Unframed date stamp were used at Brighton for telegram work. The only examples known were all used on unofficial (or ad hoc) telegram forms - cut from ordinary writing pages or by tearing usual telegraph forms into two pieces.

Date used on telegrams: 26 August 1880 to 4

Diameter: 22 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in Census on telegram: 15+

26 August 1880.

4 June 1881.


A military base had first been established at Brighton in 1826. During the first and second World Wars, it was a base for preparing troops. In the latter part of the Second World War, Brighton Camp was also used to house prisoners of war and after the war it became a reception camp for refugees from Europe. From the early 1950s onwards, Brighton's primary use was for the training of members of the Citizens Military Forces. Brighton Camp Brighton Camp.

Used on a telegram piece from form AW-TO-9Bb (issued 1946).

Campbell Town.

The Telegraph Office was opened in 1861.

The Electric Telegraph Office was housed separately from the Post Office at least until 1872.

Alfred Biggs was the school teacher in Campbell Town. In 1874, he made a telephone call from the railway line to the telegraph station - which is acknowledged as being the first telephone call in the southern hemisphere. He crafted the telephones from huon pine and linked them through the telegraph line.

Camp 1930
Campbell Town.
5 December 1930.

Postmaster Campbell Town.
9 March 1958.


February 1861: the Launceston Examiner reported that "a young lady is now joining through a course of instruction for the purpose of taking charge of the Telegraph office at Campbell Town. We hear that this young lady is likely to become one of the smartest operators on the line". That Operator was Miss Palliser.
She was the first female in charge of a Telegraph Office in Tasmania - followed by Miss Hall at Ross in March 1865.

The earliest indication of the operation of the Telegraph Office is a telegram delivery form received
at Campbelltown from Hobart on 13 January 1903.

The Telegraph Office opened in. The Post Office had been opened on June 1835. The town was founded as Honeysuckle Banks by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1811.

Evandale was also one of the stations on the Launceston & Western Railway line. Its telegraph office at the station was opened in 1871. It was a "break of guage" station until the remainder of the line to Deloraine was converted to a narrow guage in 1888.

Some notable residents of Evandale have included:

  • John Batman who lived there before moving, in 1835, to establish Melbourne;
  • John Kelly - father of Ned Kelly - who served time in the local prison.
George Town.

In 1871, had offices at Low Head (2 staff) and Nine Mile Springs (operator A.T. Morrison).

A telegraph office was opened to the public in 1873.



Green Ponds.

The telegraph wires were extended to Green Ponds in January 1870. The Telegraph Office may have been opened later in the year at a location separate from the Post Office.

Green Ponds was used as a telegraph station for surrounding towns which did not have telegraph facilities at the time. An example of a message written on an envelope as a transmission form and sent from Bothwell to Green Ponds in 1875 for onward transmission is shown elsewhere.

In September 1881, discussions were held to merge the Post and Telegraph Offices into a new office within the context of merging all the public offices (Municipal, Police, Library, lecture theatre, etc) into the same premises.

The district had been settled about 1814 and was called Green Ponds. The town was renamed Kempton in 1838 although the Post Office did not change its name to Kempton until 18 March 1895. The municipality around Kempton is now called Green Ponds. The name Kempton originated from Captain Anthony Kemp who was the first to receive a land grant in the area - now known as Mount Vernon.

There is a hand written summary on the reverse of a Cable transmission form showing 3 messages had been sent during the week ending 13 August 1870 and 4 messages in the following week.

The earliest two recorded telegrams from Green Ponds are both transmission forms for:

1. a telegram transmission form for a message sent from Green Ponds to Oatlands on 17 January 1871 (TC-DO-1B);

2. a Collect telegram transmission form for a message sent from Green Ponds to Launceston on 18 May 1871 (TC-DO-1B).

To enter the discussion about the use of names essentially at present referring to the same location, the following transmission form (TO-TO-2) was used for a message to be sent from Mount Vernon to Hobart on 24 June 1871.

In addition, there are:

A transmission form was used at Green Ponds (date unknown - but maybe about 1880) to utilise a major development. The South Australia connection to Western Australia at Eucla had been made in December 1877. The message was sent from Green Ponds to Greenough in the Mid-West region of Western Australia - utilising the inter-colonial link.

This is the earliest evidence of a message being transmitted over that link.

Transmission form TC-TO-3E used at Green Ponds - date unknown.

No date stamp was issued to Green Ponds for use with telegraphs.

Postal date stamps were used.

GP 1874
3 October 1874.
Earliest date stamp used on a Tasmanian telegam form.

Used on TC-DO-3A.


Two Green Ponds date stamps for 21 August 1883 on the reverse side of a TC-TO-3E transmission form.
The day wheels for the right strike had been set in reverse but this was corrected for the left strike.
Only recorded example.

Originally called Port Dalrymple.

The first telegraph office in Launceston opened on 8 July 1857 to send a telegram to Hobart.

The Office was in George Street opposite Patterson Street.

In 1881, the office was moved "to more commodious quarters".

Launceston 1
Launceston Post & Telegraph Office and Cameron Street.
Launcestor sketch
Engraving of the "new" Launceston Post Office.
"Pictorial Atlas of Australia", 1882.
Launceston 2
Launceston Post & Telegraph Office and St. John Street.
Launceston stamp
The Australia Post stamp
depicting Launceston Post Office.
Issued: 4 August 1982.
Launceston detail
Modern photograph of the facade and tower.

In the annual Report on the Post and Telegraph Department for 1883, the following statistics were included:

Intra-Tasmanian business - 1883:

Hobart: sent 29,695 messages; received 33,407 messages.

Launceston sent 35,229 messages, received 42,846 messages.

Inter-colonial business - 1883:

Hobart: 18,839 messsages (total)

Launceston: 15,334 messages (total).



July 1857: Mr. G. B. Butcher was appointed as the first Officer-in-Charge at Launceston. He was the brother of the then newly appointed Superintendent of Telegraphs Mr. W. H. Butcher.

Plain cover sent from Hobart to Mr. Allison of the Telegraph Office in Launceston on 18 April 1895. Teleg office
Provenance: Clemente (Spink Sale September 2016, Lot 269).

Rubber oval date stamps - TELEGRAPH OFFICE/ LAUNCESTON.

  1. RO6 - TO Serif font.
    Separation marks: rosette stops.

Used in blue: 12 Srptember 1887.
(earliest recorded date).

Size: 31 × 50 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

12 September 1887.
Used on TC-DO-4A.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

  1. RO6 - TO Sans-serif font.

Used in blue: 9 May 1888 and 8 September 1889.

Separation marks: open rosette stops.

Size: 28 × 41 mm
(e = 0.73).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

9 May 1888.
Used on TC-DO-4A.
Provenance: Clemente, Johnstone.

8 September 1889.
Used on TC-DO-4B.

RO6 - TO in black.

Separation marks: open rosette stops.

Launceston oval
7 April 1898.

Prestige Aug 2005 Lot 411.

Rubber rectangular handstamp. Launceston (RRH1-L).
Has a consecutive counter number to the right of the date.
Used on Telegrams.

Used in violet: 28 September 1894.
This image looks violet but it has been
claimed to be blue. The top RH corner looks bluish.
It is possible that the blue pigment has faded over the few years since it was used.

Size: 26 × 58 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

28 September 1894.
Used on TC-DO-4A.

For the important telegram on which this date stamp was used, see the Delivery form from the Governor's Private Secretary.


Used in blue 22 July 1895.

Size: 28 × 56 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

22 July 1895.
Used in TC-DO-4A.

Circular steel date stamps with Launceston/ Tasmania.

  1. Separation with dot stops (Clemente Type 6):

Two line date. Two digit year.

Dots for separation are towards the base of the letters.

No code letter under Launceston.

Diameter: 23 mm.


Launceston 1908
26 March 1908.

Used on TI-MO-3.

  1. Separation with circle stops (Clemente Type 7):

Two line date. Two digit year.

Has circle stops for separation.

No code letter under LAUNCESTON.

Diameter: 24 mm.

Used from 28 January 1899 (TC-DO-5A) to 10 March 1904.

Type 7 1899
28 January 1899.

Used on TC-DO-5A.

Launceston 1904
10 March 1904.

Used on TI-RO-2.

  1. Separation with cross stops (Clemente Type 8):

Two line date. Two digit year.

Has cross stops for separation.

No code letter under LAUNCESTON.

Diameter: 25 mm.


  1. Separation with no dot stops (Clemente Type 9):

Two line date. Two digit year.

Has no stops for separation.

No code letter under LAUNCESTON.

Diameter: 23 mm.

Clemente had reported that this date stamp had never been seen on a telegram form.

Laun Type 9 1904
25 May 1904.

Used on TC-DO-5A.

Launceston 1906
11 December 1905.
(unusually with year in italics).

Used on TI-DO-6.


Circular rubber date stamps:

RC3 Launceston.

No separation stars.
Type 2a (1v) rubber date stamp.

Used in blue: 7 April 1914.

Diameter: 32 mm.

Rated RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

7 April 1914.
Used on TI-DO-3B.


Has very small stars at the center of the letters
separating the top and bottom words.
Type 2a (1v) rubber date stamp.

Used in red: 13 June 1916.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

13 June 1916.
Used in red.

On TI-DO-3C.

Used in blue: 12 May 1919..

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

12 May 1919.
Used on AE-DO-1C.


RC6 Launceston.

Has large 5 pointed stars separating the top and bottom sections.

Type 2a (1v) rubber date stamp.

Used in blue: 15 Janiary 1920.

Diameter: 37 mm.

Rated RRR.

Number in the Cemsus: 1.

15 January 1920.
Used on AE-DO-1Ea.

Telegraph Office/ Launceston.

A circular SC1-TO date stamp was issued to the Office inscribed at the top TELEGRAPH OFFICE.


Used in black: 5 October 1926
to 20 August 1954.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: R.

Number in the Census: 10+

Also used on AW-DO-10 (45).

5 October 1926.
Earliest recorded date.
Used on AB-DO-3 (D).

6 September 1953.
On 2/6 One Pound Jimmy.

Launceston pair
Telegraph Office, Launceston.
3 November 1938.
Used on a punctured pair of
grey £1 Kangaroo on Map.

Mossgreen, March 2015 Lot 2074.

10 January 1938.
C of A watermark.

Archival strikes of a rubber circular datestamp not recorded used on a telegram.
All have two stars at the circumference.

Date of strike: 3 May 1989 which is beyond the date of availability of telegrams.

Diameter: 31 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 6.

Launceston TELEGRAPH.
3 May 1989.

Launceston TELEGRAPH.
3 May 1989.

Launceston TELEGRAPH.
3 May 1989.

All four types of the Slogan date stamps used at Launceston .
Launceston Rail. Launc Rail
Source: Torsten Weller 2012.


The Electric Telegraph office was opened separate from the Post Office.


The first Operator was W. Mason jnr.

The earliest indication of the operation of the Telegraph Office at Longford is a telegram transmission form sent to Longford from Green Ponds on 29 June 1971.

Transmission form TC-TO-2 used at Greenponds for a message to be transmitted to Longford on 29 June 1871.


The Electric Telegraph Office was established in 1861 separately from the Post Office.

The Post Office main route connected to Tunbridge, Anthill Ponds, Jericho, Spring Hill and Tunnack.


1861: The first Operator at Oatlands was J. Ryan Jnr.


The earliest indication of the operation of the Telegraph Office is a transmission form sent from Green Ponds to the Superintendent of Police at Oatlands on 17 January 1871.

Transmission form TC-TO-1B with message to Oatlands 17 January 1871.

  Oatlands 1897
15 March 1897.

No separating marks between
top and bottom.

Used on TC-DO-5A.


The Telegraph Office was established on 24 March 1865. It was separate from the (Money Order) Post Office.

The Hobart Advertiser of 25 March 1865 reported "Mr Packer has been up to Ross for the purpose of putting all the apparatus in working order and Mr J. Thomas, an operator at the station in town, has now gone up for a few weeks to superintend until Miss Hall is perfectly au fait in her new duties. This is the second lady operator we shall have in Tasmania, Miss Pallisser being in charge at Campbell Town".


March 1865: Miss Hall, who was the Postmistress, was also appointed as Operator.

Unfortunately the North West Post of 1 August 1905 announced that "Salary for the three months during the period of her suspension from duty is allowed to Miss Elizabeth Hall late Postmistress at Ross whose resignation from the Public Service was enforced".