Research Initiatives

The Travelling Post Offices are an area of special interest to me, and are the subject of several research projects I am working on. I am most interested in hearing from anyone who may have information to contribute to any of the following studies and unresolved questions. Anonymity will be assured in all cases.

1. I am attempting to construct a census of all known covers with Victoria TPO markings. If you have any, I’d be delighted to add these to the census. Contributors will be provided copies of the census from time to time for their personal research purposes.

2. As well, I am attempting to construct a statistical model of the relative scarcity of the various TPO strikes, and their usage on various stamp denominations and issues. Once again, if you have a holding of TPO postmarks, I would like to incorporate this information into the database.

3. I have not found evidence of any TPO markings on any postage due stamps, nor on any covers that have postage due stamps, or postage due references. I find this intriguing and would like to hear from anyone that can provide an example, if one should exist?

4. The handstamps were replaced regularly during the life of each TPO, but no official documents survive, if they ever existed, to indicate the dates when stamps were replaced. The periods of usage of each handstamp has been derived exclusively from observation of dated examples. The earliest and latest observed dates have been published various times over the decades, but the reference copies used to establish these dates have not been photographed or recorded for posterity. I am attempting to re-establish the best early and late dates of usage that can be backed by physical evidence. Early and late dates have been provided for each postmark illustrated. The dates given by Purves (1979) have a (P) after the date. Dates given by other sources which cannot be verified with physical evidence have a (*) after the date. Dates which can be verified by the author have no qualifier after the date. If you can better any of the early or late dates shown, I would like to know about it.

5. As in most areas of Victoria, there are often more new puzzles than answers to existing questions. If you encounter a postmark that cannot be identified, or a cover that defies interpretation, or any other puzzle relating to the Victoria TPOs, please share it. The observations of collectors, like yourself, are the means to expanding our knowledge in this field.

If you have information to share, or have questions relating to the TPOs please [ Contact Me ]

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