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Telegraph stamps of the World

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Up a level Not my site, but
a good reference:
Post Office Telegraphs Ceylon Telegraphs HongKong Telegraphs India Telegraphs Jamaica Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Australia
GB Ceylon Hong Kong India Jamaica Natal OFS Australia and states
Up a level by Dave Elsmore.
Matabeleland Telegraphs Sarawack Telegraphs Sudan Telegraphs Transvaal Telegraphs Uganda Railway NSW Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs
Other Africa Sarawak Sudan Transvaal Uganda New South Wales Western Australia Other Australia


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Steve Hiscocks wrote:
These are amongst the more common of the British Commonwealth telegraph stamps and were in use from 1879 to 1905. Used copies are
normally cancelled with a box slightly smaller than the 1/- stamp and with bevelled corners. This is horizontally divided into three with the date in the
centre portion, Jamaica Telegraphs in two lines above, and the place of use below. An additional 'CANCELLED' is sometimes found. All those I have
seen are in black. Copies are also found postally used although this use was not in fact authorized as was that of fiscal stamps. Various specimens,
proofs, etc., appear on the market from time to time.

According to atlantic-Cable.com, from 1870-73 cables for the West India & Panama Telegraph Co. were laid accordingly:
Santiago de Cuba Holland Bay, Jamaica Colon, Panama
Jamaica San Juan, Puerto Rico St. Thomas St. Kitts Antigua
Guadeloupe Dominica Martinique St. Lucia St. Vincent Barbados.
St. Vincent Grenada Trinidad British Guiana.

A list of 1906 for wireless-Telegraph stations lists nothing for Jamaica.
A similar list for 1910 shows Kingston having one installation, belonging to the West India Cable Co.

The map below show the early cable connections to Jamaica. Holland Bay had an overland connection to Kingston. I have no information about the route used.
In most countries, overland telegraphs are laid by the side of the railway. Though Jamaica had a rail system from early days, it went nowhere near Holland Bay.
It is likely that it therefore followed existing roads/trackways.



1879 - De La Rue, Typographed on white or bluish paper. Perf. 14

Jamaica-1 Jamaica-2
Type-1 Type-2


Wmk Crown/CC

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 3d lilac (shades) 25.00 10.00
H2 1s pale purple brown (shades)   20.00 3.50
H2a         on bluish paper 50.00 10.00
H2b         brown-purple 15.00 3.50

1889 Wmk Crown/CA (sideways-inverted)

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H3 3d lilac (shades)   15.00 5.00

1904 Wmk Multiple Crown/CA

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H4 3d lilac (shades)   50.00 25.00


Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. The date of No. 4 is not certain but the changes from Crown and CA to multiple Crown and CA
                in stamps produced by de la Rue for the Crown Agents (the 'CA' of the watermarks) mostly
                took place in 1904 or 1905.
Note 2. It is not clear when the use of these stamps ceased but it seems likely that it was not long after the  
                issue of No. 4 since that stamp is rare and the issue of stamps of King Edward VII was well
                under way by 1904 in those countries where the continued use of telegraph stamps was intended.  

My note: I have 5 examples of the 3d stamp. They are all watermarked Crown CA sideways-inverted.


Telegraph cancels on Postage Stamps.


Telegraphically used   Telegraphically used   Telegraphically used

A used example and a couple of later postage stamps with telegraphic cancels.


Postal cancels on Telegraph Stamps.

Postally used 3d-2   Postally used 3d-1
Port Royal and Half-Way-Tree (a little north of Kingston) on 3d stamps.

Postally used 1s-1   Postally used 1s-2
Port Morant and Kingston on Shilling stamps.

Use of mixed Telegraph and Postage stamps used postally:
Mixed-1   Mixed 1s-2
It would seem that the distinction between Telegraph stamps and Postage stamps was not rigidly enforced.



The following are from 1/- Telegraph forms (cancels dated August 1892).
Images courtesy of Richard Ross.

Port Antonio Old Harbour
Port Antonio Old Harbour


Morant Bay Kingston
Morant Bay Kingston

The Official forms are different, being darker and not apparently needing space for extra stamps.




Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.


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Last updated 4th. September. 2023

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