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Private Revenue Perfins of South Australia

An Elsmore Coath production

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V

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VO/Co.a

   

User: Vacuum Oil Co

Petroleum Refiner & Distributor

Address: Cnr. King William and Glenfell Sts, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1904 Series 1d

Rarity Scale:

1904 Series 1d R4.

Background: *Vacuum Oil started operating in the United States in the 1860 and in 1895 became the first oil company to be established in Australia. Up until that time foreign oil products were marketed in Australia via agents.

Vacuum Oil first opened offices in Melbourne and they were incorporated in 1904. In 1908 they merged with the Colonial Oil Company and they progressively expanded throughout Australia with offices, processing and distribution facilities in Sydney, Townsville, Perth, Fremantle, Port Adelaide, Newcastle, Hobart and other locations. In 1924 they opened a bulk terminal at Pulpit Point in Sydney. They opened processing facilities in Altona (Melbourne) in 1940 and at Port Stanvac (South of Adelaide) in 1963.

In 1930 the US parent company merged with Standard Oil to become Socony Vacuum and later Socony Mobil but the Australian operation remained Vacuum Oil until it changed its name to Mobil Oil Australia in 1963.

Device: Vacuum Oil company were prolific perfin users and where in the habit of purchasing perforating devices in batches as required for their many offices. The patterns produced by these devices that were from the same batch were very similar and this has lead to much miss reporting and confusion regarding the patterns of this user.

This exclusively Adelaide device is in a single die format and it has not been reported in any previous studies of Australian private perfins. It is only found used in the period 1913-1914 and only in Adelaide. It was purchased in the same batch as a device for the Sydney office and it has not been reported because it only survived for a short period and it is most likely confused with the much more common pattern from the long serving Sydney device (1913-1955). See NSW chapter pattern VO/CO.a.

The patterns made by these devices are very similar but the Adelaide pattern has the following differences:

O of VO      Top is rounder in Adelaide pattern.

O of Co       Is regular in shape, the Sydney pattern the O is slightly tilted.

Pin under O of Co is offset from bottom pin of the O. In the Sydney pattern this pin is directly under the bottom pin of the O of Co.

This device was replaced in Adelaide by the VO/CO.b pattern in about 1920-1921, see below.

This Adelaide VO/CO.a device is also found on postage stamps but this is also restricted to the period of 1913-1914.

For more information about Vacuum Oil devices see the “Study of Vacuum Oil Patterns used in Australia” under the Perfins Research tab at www.perfins.com.au

Related patterns: Refer to other Vacuum Oil Company patterns:

NSW: VO/CO.a

QLD: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VOCO.c, VOCO.d, VO/CO.a VO/CO.b

SA:   VO/CO.b, VO/CO.c

TAS: VOCO.a

VIC: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b

WA: MOA.a, VOCOa, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a

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V.O/Co.b

User: Vacuum Oil Co

Petroleum Refiner & Distributor

Address: Cnr. King William and Glenfell Sts, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1904 Series 2d on 1d.

1920 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

1904 Series 2d on 1d 1d R4.

1920 Series 2d R2.

Background: See VO/CO.a 

Device: As with many other Vacuum Oil devices this VO/Co.b device was purchased in the same batch as a device for the Perth office (see VO/CO.a in the WA chapter) and it is a single die device.

As with other Vacuum Oil devices that produce a similar pattern, previous studies of Australian private perfins have considered these Adelaide and Perth patterns of these 2 separate devices to be a single pattern.  However our study of postmarks and revenue use from different States clearly shows that these similar patterns are the result of strikes from 2 devices.  In addition there are subtle pin position differences that are consistent to patterns from a single location.

This Adelaide VO/CO.b device came into service in about 1920-1921 and it remained in use until at least 1956, although usage after 1932 is less common and the device seems to have co existed with the VO/CO.c device for some time, see below.

The pattern is also found on postage stamps.

For more information about Vacuum Oil devices see the “Study of Vacuum Oil Patterns used in Australia” under the Perfins Research tab at Perfins.com.au

Related patterns: Refer to other Vacuum Oil Company patterns:

NSW: VO/CO.a

QLD: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VOCO.c, VOCO.d, VO/CO.a VO/CO.b

SA: VO/CO.a, VO/CO.c

TAS: VOCO.a

VIC: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b

WA: MOA.a, VOCOa, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a

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VO/Co.c

User: Vacuum Oil Co

Petroleum Refiner & Distributor

Address: Cnr. King William and Glenfell Sts, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1920 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

1920 Series 2d R2.

Background: See VO/CO.a

Device: As with many other Vacuum Oil patterns this VO/CO.c pattern has been reported in more than one location at the same time, in this case Melbourne and Adelaide as follows:

Melbourne      1928-1947

Adelaide        1932-1951

As we have detailed with previous Vacuum Oil patterns this reported overlap is generally due to confusion caused by the company ordering batches of perfin devices which make similar patterns and allocating these devices to remote locations. Confusion of this kind can be overcome by detailed study of the characteristics of the specific patterns that can be determined to be from remote locations, such as those found on State revenue stamps of more than one State or postage stamps that carry postmarks from different locations.

Regrettably in this case the patterns found on the Adelaide and Melbourne stamps are essentially identical. Now this overlapping usage is very challenging and also it is notable that at the time of the reported usage of VO/CO.c in both Melbourne and Adelaide there were already current devices known to have been in use.

This overlap of different patterns/devices in the same location is not unknown and in the case of the Melbourne office there are almost always 2 patterns/devices in use at the one time.  This may be due to the fact that Vacuum Oil had multiple offices (or an office and a refining plant) both in Melbourne.

This was also the case in Adelaide.

It is possible that the VO/CO.c device was moved between Melbourne and Adelaide or indeed that the device was in a single location and that perforated stamps were sent to another location as required.  These seem unlikely options given the proliferation of Vacuum Oil devices. We consider that it is more likely that the batch of devices that produced VO/CO.c in Adelaide were simply of a higher quality and that this lead to the patterns from the devices in Adelaide and Melbourne being indistinguishable.

This VO/CO.c device was most likely a single die device.

For more information about Vacuum Oil devices see the “Study of Vacuum Oil Patterns used in Australia” under the Perfins Research tab at www.perfins.com.au

Related patterns: Refer to other Vacuum Oil Company patterns:

NSW: VO/CO.a

QLD: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VOCO.c, VOCO.d, VO/CO.a VO/CO.b

SA: VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b,

TAS: VOCO.a

VIC: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b

WA: MOA.a, VOCOa, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a

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VOCo.d

     

User: Vacuum Oil Co

Petroleum Refiner & Distributor

Address: Cnr. King William and Glenfell Sts, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1920 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

1920 Series 2d R2.

Background: See VOCO.a

Device:

This VOCO.c device was most likely a single die device.

For more information about Vacuum Oil devices see the “Study of Vacuum Oil Patterns used in Australia” under the Perfins Research tab at www.perfins.com.au

Related patterns: Refer to other Vacuum Oil Company patterns:

NSW: VO/CO.a

QLD: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VOCO.c, VOCO.d, VO/CO.a VO/CO.b

SA: VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b,

TAS: VOCO.a

VIC: VOCO.a, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a, VO/CO.b

WA: MOA.a, VOCOa, VOCO.b, VO/CO.a

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