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Private Revenue Perfins of Victoria

An Elsmore Coath Howard production

The authors would welcome your comments additions or input into this work

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Section 2 - Commercial Overprints

D

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DANE BROS.a

User: Dane Bros

Grocers, Wine & Spirits

Address: Stawell, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1915 Series 2d

Rarity Scale:

 

1915 Series 2d R4

Background:

Device: Handstamp

Related Patterns: Nil

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DAVID SYME/& CO. LIMITED.a

User: The Age

Newspaper

Address: Address: 233 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1915 Series 2d

Rarity Scale:

 

1915 Series 2d R4

 

Background: *In June 1856 the Cooke’s sold The Age newspaper to Ebenezer Syme, a Scottish-born businessman, and James McEwan, an ironmonger and founder of McEwans & Co, for 2,000 pounds at auction. The first edition under the new owners was on 17 June 1856. From its foundation the paper was self-consciously liberal in its politics: "aiming at a wide extension of the rights of free citizenship and a full development of representative institutions," and supporting "the removal of all restrictions upon freedom of commerce, freedom of religion and - to the utmost extent that is compatible with public morality - upon freedom of personal action."

 

Ebenezer Syme was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly shortly after buying The Age, and his brother David Syme soon came to dominate the paper, editorially and managerially. When Ebenezer died in 1860, David became editor-in-chief, a position he retained until his death in 1908, although a succession of editors did the day-to-day editorial work. In 1891 Syme bought out Ebenezer's heirs and McEwan's and became sole proprietor. He built up The Age into Victoria's leading newspaper. In circulation it soon overtook its rivals The Herald and The Argus, and by 1890 it was selling 100,000 copies a day, making it one of the world's most successful newspapers.

 

Under Syme's control The Age exercised enormous political power in Victoria. It supported liberal politicians such as Graham Berry, George Higinbotham and George Turner, and other leading liberals such as Alfred Deakin and Charles Pearson furthered their careers as The Age journalists. Syme was originally a free trader, but converted to protectionism through his belief that Victoria needed to develop its manufacturing industries behind tariff barriers. In the 1890s The Age was a leading supporter of Australian federation and of the White Australia policy.

 

After Syme's death the paper remained in the hands of his three sons, with his eldest son Herbert Syme becoming general manager until his death in 1939. Syme's will, prevented the sale of any equity in the paper during his sons' lifetimes, an arrangement designed to protect family control but which had the effect of starving the paper of investment capital for 40 years. Under the management of Sir Geoffrey Syme (1908–42), and his chosen editors Gottlieb Schuler and Harold Campbell, The Age failed to modernise, and gradually lost market share to The Argus and to the tabloid The Sun News-Pictorial, although its classified advertisement sections kept the paper profitable. By the 1940s the paper's circulation was smaller than it had been in 1900, and its political influence also declined. Although it remained more liberal than the extremely conservative Argus, it lost much of its distinct political identity.

 

The historian Sybil Nolan writes: "Accounts of The Age in these years generally suggest that the paper was second-rate, outdated in both its outlook and appearance. Walker described a newspaper which, had fallen asleep in the embrace of the Liberal Party; "querulous," "doddery" and "turgid" are some of the epithets applied by other journalists. It is inevitably criticised not only for its increasing conservatism, but for its failure to keep pace with innovations in layout and editorial technique so dramatically demonstrated in papers like The Sun News-Pictorial and The Herald."

 

In 1942 David Syme's last surviving son, Oswald Syme, took over the paper. He modernised the paper's appearance and standards of news coverage (removing classified advertisements from the front page and introducing photographs, long after other papers had done so). In 1948, convinced the paper needed outside capital, he persuaded the courts to overturn his father's will and floated David Syme and Co. as a public company, selling 400,000 pounds worth of shares, enabling a badly needed technical modernisation of the newspaper's production. A takeover attempt by the Warwick Fairfax family, publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald, was beaten off. This new lease on life allowed The Age to recover commercially, and in 1957 it received a great boost when The Argus ceased publication.

Device: Handstamped

Related Patterns: David Syme.b & .c

*Wikipedia

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DAVID SYME/& CO. LIMITED.b

User: The Age

Newspaper

Address: Address: 233 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1930 Series [No wmk] 3d

Rarity Scale:

 

1930 Series [No wmk] 3d R4

Background: See David Syme & Co Ltd.a

Device: Preprinted

Related Patterns: David Syme .a & .c

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DAVID SYME/& CO. LIMITED.c

User: The Age

Newspaper

Address: 233 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1932 Series 3d

Rarity Scale:

 

1932 Series 3d R4

Background: See David Syme & Co Ltd.a

Device: Preprinted

Related Patterns: David Syme .a & .b

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DAVID SYME/& CO./LIMITED.d

 

1966 Series                  1981 Series

User: The Age

Newspaper

Address: 233 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1966 Series 5c

1981 Series 10c

Rarity Scale:

 

1966 Series 5c R4

 

1981 Series 10c S [full remainder sheets are in the market place]

Background: See David Syme & Co Ltd.a

Device: Preprinted

Related Patterns: David Syme .a & .b

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