Life before the Roo
Predecimal Stamps of Australia covers the years 1913 to 1965. These dates happen to be the neatly defined boundaries between Australias first nationally recognisable stamp, the 1d Red Kangaroo, and the introduction of decimal currency on the 14th February, 1966. There is however, much more to the story of pre decimal Australian issues that deserve some mention.
For overseas collectors of Australian Stamps, and indeed, younger generations of dinkum Aussies, it is not at all clear why Australia had no stamps of its own prior to 1913. I am certainly aware of my own situation as a young collector. For a long time, I did not know anything existed prior to the Kangaroo because SG1 of Stanley Gibbons was,,,, a kangaroo!
This chapter summarises Australia's first designs in 1850, and ends with the close of the 'book keeping' period in 1913.
Naturally, a period that covers two generations of stamp collectors deserves a handbook of its own, the Australian States Handbook, to be exact. This chapter will assist in background to the 'pre-decimal' era. It is not intended to be complete, nor exhaustive, but should clear up a few basic mysteries.
I hope you enjoy reading the left column pieces regarding the nonsensical book keeping period as much as I had in studying it.