Australia - Brown years: 1923-1939.
1936 Social Greetings: AB-GS-36.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: Form number TG 42K.
Delivery envelopes had the form numbers
T.G. 65K. (opaque) and T.G. 65N. (window).
Message area: Blank.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Multicolour on cream.
Size of form overall: 153 × 204 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:

 On 13 January, 1936 a new style of ornamental greetings form was issued. It was headed "Social Telegram" and was intended "for use in the transmission of social messages for which the congratulatory form (AB-GC-34) is not entirely suitable". Other descriptions given by the PMG included "It is a social form for invitations to bridge parties, dinners, reunions and other social events".

An announcement of the form carried in many newspapers said:


Pursuing its campaign to popularise the telegram, the Postal Department has decided to issue a special telegram form for use on social occasions.

This addition to the special telegram forms will be the gayest of all. Printed in four colours, it will depict a dashing swain, replete with mutton-chop whiskers and cravat, bowing deeply over his stovepipe hat, to a coy damsel in crinolines. There will be a wealth of other decorations, including a scroll with the words "Social Telegram.

The Director of Postal Department (Mr. H. P. Brown) said that he had ordered 500,000 of these forms".

The form remained in use until at least 1942 when ornamental telegram forms were withdrawn due to war-time restrictions.

GSF-1 AB-GSF-36.

Melbourne to CTO Perth W.A.
(28 September 1936).


  • Form number T.G. 42K;
  • designs for neither the ladies nor the gentleman is used on the envelopes.
gse-1 AB-GSE-36A.

Opaque delivery envelope. used for a form received at Port Melbourne on 2 March 1937.

Form number T.G. 65K.

gse-2b AB-GSE-36B.

Unused window delivery envelope.


  • Form number T.G. 65N;
  • window has no border.

In May 1937, this telegram - together with six others - was included in a small booklet issued by the Postmaster-General's Department to advertise the ornamental telegrams facility. The Adelaide News of 7 May 1937 carried the following report:

Opposed by Hostesses

MELBOURNE, Friday. Samples of colored headings devised for special greeting telegrams and issued yesterday in a Post Office booklet, were described as "gaudy and reminiscent of the first-year class in art schools, and not a credit to the department."

The first special heading worded "Social telegram" can be used, says the Post Office, for invitations to parties and for saying good-bye and welcome home, but hostesses to whom it was referred yesterday said they thought it was not in good taste. They urged that instructions be given postal officiaIs to use the form only if asked specially to do so, as they would not wish their friends to receive a telegram so labelled if ever they had cause to telegraph invitations to a party".

There would appear to be some confusion as to what the actual form contained.

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
GSF-36 None. 28 September 1936 at CTO Perth. RR if used and with matching delivery envelope.
C in unused condition.
GSE-36A None. 2 March 1937 at Port Melbourne, Vic.
GSE-36B None.