Friday, February 23, 2007


(Random walkies)


Telephone manhole covers on Brisbane Water Drive, just level with Parks Bay.

The interesting bit about them is they've got "PMG" on them. Before Telstra (Australia's original national phone provider) was called Telstra it was called Telecom and before that, way back when Noah was a lad, it was called PMG.

PMG is short for Postmaster General. When the telephone was a new and wondrous thing it was run by the Post Office not separately like it is now. Then, after the newness and the wondrousness had worn off, it took the government yonks to put phones in their own department.

"The Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was created at Federation in 1901 to control all postal (and later, telecommunications) services within Australia. ... The earliest telephone exchanges in Australia date back to 1880. All phone calls were manually switched by human operators. The Melbourne exchange opened with just 44 customers.

The first automatic exchange did not open until 1912, featuring electromechanical switching equipment. So-called "cross-bar" systems started appearing in 1960. Electronic switching began in the late 1970s." (Wiki)

The Posmaster General's Department got renamed as well, to Australia Post in 1975 when Telecom was split off.

Ex-convict Isaac Nichols was the first Postmaster in New South Wales. He signed on in 1809 and part of the job was to go onto the ships as they pulled up at the wharf and collect all the post. Otherwise the locals were just charging on board in droves asking if there was any letters for them.

The post started going overland between Sydney and Melbourne in 1838. Before that it would've going on coastal shipping. Nichols got the world's first pre-paid postage started as well. And in 1956 sea mail started going monthly to the UK, no doubt carrying many postcards of Bondi with 'weather is great, get on the next ship out' on the back. (Wiki)


New tshirts

Finished two thirds of the lettering I was on about the other day. I cracked the GIMP and made better lettering for the shirts and hoodies and stuff in my wee shop.

There's more than in this picture. There's tee shirts, long sleeved tee shirts & windcheaters (sweaters), hoodies and mugs.

There's new colours in the tee shirts as well. Just click on little coloured squares under the picture.

New tee shirts at CP


Blabberon said...

Great manhole covers!

Lovin your history stuff.

You live on the computer. Don't you!! :-)

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Postmaster General, eh? Better than Pre-Menstrual Gorilla, I suppose.

Pretty things, Spike darling. Pretty things!

Spike said...

Ron - Thank yer.

Yours is cool as well. That post about the 1906 earthquake damage was very interesting.

I do not! Not since the doctor gave me that little talk about addiction :)

Device dear - Pre-Menstral Gorillas are a menace. They rip up small trees and frighten the pelicans. Luckily, through ceaseless effort by the local government, they have been all but eradicated from the Peninsula and environs.

Thank yer.

kitchen hand said...

I started work with Telecom Australia when its cute little yellow dinkus was just three weeks old - July 21, 1975. I was a junior clerk on $2500 a year.

I still spot PMG impedimenta occasionally, along with those of SR&WSC, MMTB, MMBW, CRB and one or two other instrumentalities.

Spike said...

$2500 a year

Bloody hell! I've had dinners that cost more. Okay, not quite but that's barely enough to feed a sparrow let alone a junior clerk.

[alphabet soup]

Ploise explain.