09 July 2013

New Special Cover…


Tagore-Gandhi special cover 2013_L (1)

A special Cover was released on 9th July by Bihar Postal Circle in Patna during a stamp exhibition on Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. The cancellation of the cover features Tagore’s Nobel Prize medal.Special Cover dipicts a photograph of Bapu, Baa & Tagore at Shantiniketan in Spring festival (Basanta Utsav) Kolkatta, and where Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba were the Chief guests.

Tagore-Gandhi special cover 2013_L (1)

Tagore-Gandhi special cover 2013_L (1)

Stamp Show : Gandhi & Tagore : 9 July 2013 : Patna

The  covers are available at Philatelic Bureau Patna GPO @ 50/ per piece through Counter or Mail order. Kindly send Money Order to the Chief Postmaster Patna GPO Patna –800001. Ph. 0612 - 2236937

: Pradip Jain – Patna  email : philapradip@gmail.com

HI !

I am sharing here two articles published in “The Hindu” today…It is time to prepare to post last telegram before 15th July…On 15th, the  telegram services will be discontinued….


So long, farewell…



In this age of instant communication it would be difficult to envisage a time when the fastest form of contacting someone was the telegram. On July 15. 2013 we bid goodbye to this unique way of sending a message.

The service began in 1850, six years after Samuel Morse sent his first message in the U.S. The first experimental electric telegraph line was between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. The distance was approximately 50km. The service was initially for the British East India Company.

Knock, knock

By November 1853, 6,400km of lines connected Calcutta and Peshawar, Agra, Bombay and Madras and even Ootacamund and Bangalore. Who was the mastermind who pioneered this system in India? William O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon by profession was commissioned to do the job. In 1854 a separate department was opened and it was thrown open to the public to use.

For a long time, the telegram was the fastest form of communication and was the harbinger of news, both good and bad. When the postman knocked and handed over a telegram a fear ran through the house because only important information was thus conveyed.

If you were unable to attend a wedding it was appropriate to dash off a telegram. There was no need to think too hard about the message as some messages had a number against them. So write out number 4 and your Diwali Greetings would be off. However, like every method this too lent itself to some hilarious and not-so-hilarious consequences. The number could be congratulatory when in actual fact you wanted to send a condolence message!

The message was short, crisp and in capital letters not lend itself to any niceties.

Now, for its role in History. According to historians, the telegram played a crucial role during the First War of Independence. It was the telegram that relayed information so quickly that the British forces were able to regain control.

In 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru sent a telegram to Clement Atlee in London. It was for help as Kashmir had been invaded by Pakistan.

If you would like to be the one to send out the last telegrams then make sure you do so before 7 p.m. on July 12. The last date announced is July 15 but July 13 and 14 are government holidays.

Some interesting telegrams

Samuel Morse in what is thought to be the first telegram on May 24, 1844 to Alfred Vail. “What has God wrought?”

Oscar Wilde, was living in Paris and he cabled his publisher in Britain to find out how his book was doing. “?”

The publisher answered: “!”


It is believed to be one of the last wireless messages that was sent from the Titanic, early on April 15, 1912: “SOS SOS CQD CQD Titanic. We are sinking fast. Passengers are being put into boats. Titanic.”

Mark Twain’s obituary had been published in the U.S. in 1897. He sent a telegram from London: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

The Wright Brothers announced their first successful flight in 1903: “Successful four flights Thursday morning”.

How it began

The very first form of communication could be the use of smoke signals.

` Then came Semaphore – or flag language that was employed by ships or buildings that were far apart.

Later, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail invented a system of short and electrical pulses that represented letters. The message was then translated into a string of dots and dashes, sent on a cable and translated back at the other end. This is the telegram.

Now we have Instant Messaging, SMS and oh! so much more…

: The Hindu - 9 July 2013


Stamp it - N. HARIHARAN


India Post has a long and colourful history. Here is a glimpse of the story behind the logo.

Have you ever been to a post office? If you haven’t then you missed watching the functioning of receiving and dispatching of mail from different parts of the world to people’s homes.

In 1914, the Postal Department merged with the Telegraph Office and the department came to be known as Indian Post and Telegraph Department.

image logo

The logo was accordingly modified with an addition of two telegraph lines on both sides of the Post Horn. In 1959, the motto of the department “Service before self”( Aharshana Seva Mahe) was on the top of the logo and in between these the charka was featured.

In two

In 1985 the Postal Department bifurcated the Post and Telegraph Department. Though the logo carried the post horn and the telegraph line was continued the Department of Posts modified and developed its own logo which was launched on World Post Day on October 9, 1993. It represents dynamism and action.

The corporate logo was introduced to identify the Indian Post Office and its relevant functions.

The streamlined graphic depicting double wings representing dynamism and action is characteristic of the postal department.

In 2008, another logo was unveiled. This was a rectangle, resembling an envelope, in deep red with the image of birds’ wings in yellow. Red symbolises the traditional association with the post office, along with passion, power and commitment. Yellow, on the other hand is symbolic of hope, joy and happiness.

Did you know

The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 gave the Governor-General of India the right to carry letters by post within East India Company territory. This was a privilege and only certain officials could make use of this system.On October 1, 1837, the Indian Post Office was established as a public postal system. Post offices were established in major towns, and postmasters appointed.In 1850, Lord Dalhousie established a commission to evaluate the Indian Postal system. The recommendations of the committee resulted in the Post Office Act of 1854 being superseded.Around this time postage stamps were introduced and postal rates were fixed by weight and not distance.

The Indian Post Office became a monopoly charged with carrying mail throughout British India.However, some princely states continued to operate their own systems. There were Convention States and Feudatory States. The Convention States had agreements with the Post Office of India to provide service within their territories but with overprinted stamps issued by the Post Office. The Feudatory States on the hand provided their own services and issued their own stamps, which were valid only within their states.In 1858, the British Raj was established with the rule of the East India Company being transferred to the Crown. In 1861, there were 889 post offices and they were handling approximately 43 million letters and over 4.5 million newspapers a year.The world's first official airmail flight took place in India on 18 February 1911, a journey of 18 kilometres lasting 27 minutes.India Post inaugurated a floating post office in August 2011 at Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.

The Hindu  - 9 July 2013

: Mahesh Parekh - Chennai

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