The first post office to be opened in what is now Victoria was in Melbourne in April 1837. At the time the area was still a part of New South Wales.
By 1850 there were a total of forty-five post offices in operation within the area which was to become Victoria.
On 3 January 1850 the first stamps were issued for Victoria - the "Half Lengths", which were printed by Thomas Ham of Melbourne. They were actually issued eighteen
months before Victoria was officially made a colony. The second type of stamp design for Victoria depicted Queen Victoria enthroned. This was a design produced
locally in Victoria and it is believed to be based on a portrait of Queen Victoria painted in 1837 by Sir Thomas Hayter.
On 1 July 1851 Victoria was proclaimed as a separate Colony.
The following article appeared in Stamp Collectors' Review on 15 May 1863
VICTORIAN POSTAGE STAMPS.
We extract the following from the report of the Victorian Postmaster- General : —
"Until the beginning of the year 1859 there was no system established for the manufacture of the postage stamps used in Victoria. Some were prepared in England,
and others were produced in the colony under contract. Both of these plans were open to objections; and, in consequence of certain serious irregularities which
were discovered in 1858, and which arose out of the difficulty that was experienced in keeping a sufficient check under the contract system, it was determined to
appoint an officer in the Post Office establishment to undertake the whole of the work in connexion with the preparation of postage stamps. This was accordingly done,
and since March, 1859, the whole process of electrotyping and mounting the dies, printing, gumming, and perforating has been performed by the printer of postage
stamps within the walls of the Post Office, a system which is believed to afford a perfect check. The postage stamp dies and plates are under the joint custody of
the secretary and accountant; the printing press is fitted with an indicator which marks off each sheet of postage stamps as it is printed; the plate is fastened
to the printing press, and cannot be removed without the knowledge of the officers named, who record daily the course of the indicator; and are able to satisfy
the Commissioners of Audit at their annual inspection as to the number of postage stamps produced in the office within any given period. The following statement
will show the number of stamps of the several denominations that have been produced under this system from the 14th March, 1859, to 30th September, 1862:-
11,109,080 penny, 1,440,000 twopence, 480,000 threepence, 12,320,080 fourpence, 1,524,000 sixpence.
Control of the Victoria State post office was passed to the Australian Federal Government on 1 March 1901 and the stamps of each the various states became valid for
use in all other states. Stamps inscribed Victoria continued to be issued until the stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia were issued on 2 January 1913.
Society of Australasian Specialists/Oceania (AUSTRALIA) The Society of Australasian Specialists was founded in July 1936 by a small group of collectors interested in Australasian philately. In 1965, the American
Society of Australian Philatelists, later to become Oceania, Inc. was established for the same purpose as the older SAS. In 1978, the two Societies consolidated to
better serve the members of both organizations. Today, the Society has many members, not only in the United States and Canada, but also in New Zealand, Australia,
Great Britain, and a few other countries.
Australian Airmail Society (AUSTRALIA)
Meetings 1st Wednesday of each month 7:45pm at SAPHIL House, 22 Gray Court, Adelaide
Contact address: PO Box 395, Edwardstown, SA 5039
The Postal Stationery Society of Australia The Postal Stationery Society of Australia seeks to encourage the collecting of postal stationery in Australia and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and discussion on postal stationery.
Introduction to the Half Length Issues
by Les Molnar The "Half Lengths" were the first stamps issued by the colony of Victoria. They were designed, engraved and printed entirely within the colony of Victoria,
and represent one of the most interesting philatelic studies in the realm of philately.
State of Victoria - early postal cancels illustrated
from StampBoards.com - Postage Stamp Chat Board & Stamp Bulletin Board Forum ...a site dedicated to Victoria, which can give some background history, pictures of the post offices where possible, images of the various postmarks,
and try to tie each town to a single post. Sort of make it like a reference book which is available to anyone who's interested...
Willder & Company's Monthly Guide Newspaper Wrapper
by Maurice Mishkel ...newspaper wrapper headed WILLDER & COMPANY’S / MONTHLY GUIDE / ON INVESTMENTS OF THE DAY and it has a printed rose ‘Half Penny’...
Derbin Willder was one of the founders of the Melbourne Stock Exchange.
TPOs of Victoria
by Les Molnar Most of the mail in the colony of Victoria was transported by rail from town to town. The rail network grew rapidly in the 1860s and 1870s to serve the
growing population in the interior of the colony and to support the growing economy in those regions.
The Numeral Cancellations of Victoria
by Hugh H Freeman and Geoff T White, The Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria, 2001, 420pp This work extends the previous volume devoted to this subject, Barred Numerals of Victoria, by J.R.W. Purves published in 1963 and now long out of print.
The Philatelic Society of Victoria, 1892-1926
by A.J.Derrick, 1926, Philatelic Society of Victoria, 94pp A history of the Society from 1892-1926
The Post Offices and Handheld Datestamps of Victoria Vol 1 A-B
by Gary Watson, John Webster & David Wood, 1989
The Post Offices and Handheld Datestamps of Victoria Vol 2 C-G
by Gary Watson, John Webster & David Wood, 1992 Lists all known datestamps, including paids, money order, telegraph, postmaster etc. Early and late dates are recorded as is the use of colour inks.
VG: Victorian Government Punctures
by Bryan Toop, self-published, 3rd edition, 1984, 34pp, ISBN 0959106006
VG: Victorian Government Punctures
by Neale Scott and Bryan Toop, self-published, 5th edition, 1993, 54pp, ISBN 0646159119