On This Day …

Friday 1st March, 1901

Victorian stamp 1855

Victorian stamp 1855

It is interesting to note the history of our postal system in Australia. Something we really take for granted these days, but which began with a single post office in Sydney, opened by Governor Macquarie in June 1810 and run by the ex-convict Isaac Nichols, to sort mail coming into the colony with the arriving ships. Overland mail routes began in the late 1820s and by 1844, every town had a post box. Over the years up until 1900, each colony in Australia set up their own postal system with their own stamps and charges.

After Federation, it was decided to combine all of these services under the one centralised organisation — the Postmaster-General’s Department. This officially began on the 1st March, 1901, and later on not only covered the postal system, but the telecommunications system as well. Until 1913 all the states had their own stamps, but were changed to the Commonwealth standard stamp series from then on.

Australian Stamp 1929

Australian Stamp 1929

In 1975 the Postmaster General’s Department was separated into the Australian Postal Commission (Australia Post) and the Australian Telecommunications Commission (Telecom, or as we now know it, Telstra).

In 1911 it cost one penny to send a letter from anywhere in Australia to anywhere else in Australia and at that time it caused a boom in the number of letters mailed. Now it costs 60c, but there are probably less letters sent due to the popularity of e-mail. Do you still like to send ‘snail mail’?

Published in: on 1st March, 2013 at 10:30 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ok… I’m going to admit something shameful here. I have so many old, as in very old Australian stamps from when I collected as a child. I traded with someone who had a quality stash…. BUT, I had no idea a regular stamp costs 60cents in today’s economy! I just slip them off the sticky packet and slap one on… but if you’d asked me I would’ve said 45cents. When did that happen and I didn’t realise….?

    • Really? You don’t notice the price of the stamps? Amazing. I used to collect stamps to as a child copying her father. Can’t remember what I had in my collection though. 🙂

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