Queensland - 1861-1988.
TELEGRAPH OFFICE and T.O. date stamps.

Two special date stamps were issued to some Offices in Queensland for use with telegraphic activity - in addition to the various formats used at the G.P.O. These date stamps included the inscription:

Dell and Price have developed classification scheme for the steel post-Federation date stamps which is sumarised below.

1. Telegraph Office date stamp:

The first office of five offices to use such a date stamp was Toowoomba in 1906 followed by Rockhampton and Ipswich. Gladstone was the last of the five Offices in 1970.

Details of the date stamps issued to these five offices are accessed as follows:

  1. Gladstone;
  2. Ipswich;
  3. Rockhampton;
  4. Toowoomba;
  5. Townsville.



Telegraph Office Gladstone/QLD.
12 August 1970 (only date recorded).
Diameter: 30.5 mm.

Dell Type 4.
Large arcs at sides.

10 March 1916.

7 February 1917.

8 November 1917.
Used on an Urgent rate delivery form _
Possibly QI-DU-1 .

1. Telegraph Office/
Has small squares on each side.

Used in black: 3 December 1914 - 23 December 1914

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRR

Dell Type 4.

3 December 1914.

21 December 1914.

2. Telegraph Office/
Has 1 mm arcs on each side.

Used in black: 14 December 1931.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RRRR.
(not elsewhere recorded).

Dell Type 4.

14 December 1931.
  1. Telegraph Office Rockhampton/Qld (SC1 - TO).
    Rockhampton in top inscription.
    4 mm side arcs.

Used: 7 February 1967
(Small date line) .

Diameter: 30 mm.
Font is 3 mm high but thin.

Rated: RRRR.
(Unrecorded by Smithies).

Number in Census: 1.

7 February 1967.


  1. TELEGRAPH OFFICE/Toowoomba.
    Separation marks are small open circles.

Used in violet: 29 August 1906.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

29 August 1906.

Used on QC-EO-7.

  1. Telegraph Office/
    Toowoomba (SC1 - TO).
    Has filled circles for separation marks.

Used in blue: 6 February 1914.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

6 February 1914.
On 2d grey Roo with McP perfin.

Used in black: 21 August 1919 - 12 May 1936.

Diameter: 25 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

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.

Also recorded with 2.5 m side arcs and the postcode at the base (Dell type 6) between 23 September 1971 and 22 March 1979.

16 May 1968.

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



Two formats

2p Rocky
Telegraph Office/Townsville.
November 1932.

On £2 punctured Kangaroo on Map.

5 December 1932.

With telegraph puncture.

Prestige Philately November 2011,
Lot 274.


1942 Towns
Telegraph Office/Townsville.
10 May 1942.

Diameter: 30 mm.
Has squares on each side.
On AW-DO-10.

Used 10 May 1942 to
30 December 1943.



2. T.O. date stamps.

In the recent modern (post 1950's) era, the inscription T.O. was more common. There were a larger number of offices using this inscription although many were small establishments with the consequence that the T.O. date stamp is generally at least scarce.

Details of the T.O. date stamps issued to these offices are accessed as follows:



Hidden Valley.


Hidden Valley.
Near Yeppoon on East Coast line.

Used from 24 November 1945 to
24 February 1959.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RRR.
Dell type 5.

Hidden Valley
T. O. Hidden Valley.
24 March 1954.

Hidden 1959
T. O. Hidden Valley.
24 February 1959.

Hidden Valley with TO removed.
Used from 18 November 1964 and
to 15 March 1967.

Rated: Scarce.
Dell type 5x.




T. O. Townsville.
15 June 1964.
(Used on Phonogram form).
Diameter: 30 mm.

Dell Type 5.
Known used between 5 April 1945 and 16 June 1964.
Has arcs on each side and QLD-AUST at base.

Phonogram with date stamp T.O. Townsville like that above but used on 10 January 1964.

Also has a blue OVERSEAS TELEGRAM label.



Dell and Price classification scheme.

The scheme, which applies to all postal date stamps used after 1901, is also used for date stamps issued for telegraphic purposes. The basis of the scheme is the detail included at the top and base of the date stamp:

Each type has an additional code to indicate if time is included (t) or if a short date line is used (s).

Classification Top Base Telegraph usage
Type 1 Office name. Queensland  
Type 2 Function
(e.g. Telegraph Office, Registered, Paid, etc).
Office name  
Type 3 Function
(e.g. Telegraph Office, Registered, Paid, etc).
Brisbane and Qld or Q.  
Type 4 Office name. Queensland  
Type 5 Office name and function. QLD - AUST  
Type 6 Office name and function. Includes postcode.