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Private Revenue Perfins of Western Australia

An Elsmore Coath production

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User: A D Meares and Bishop


Address: 33 Bligh St, Sydney, NSW.

Revenue Use:

1951-63 issue 3d, 1/-.

Rarity Scale:

1951-63 issue 3d R3, 1/- R2.

Background: Alfred Meares was born in Sydney in November 1904 and in 1926 he became a clerk at the Sydney Stock Exchange. In 1932 he took a seat at the Sydney Exchange and worked for a small group of private clients.

After an absence for military service in World War 2 he returned to his seat and in 1949 he went into partnership with Jesse Bishop as A D Meares and Bishop.

Jesse Bishop had been born in Sydney in 1907 and was educated at Sydney University but completed his studies at Cambridge in England. Graduating in 1934 he worked for the Imperial Smelting Corporation for a short period before gaining a position with the stockbroking firm W Thompson and Son. and later Dormer Rumball and Co. in which he secured a partnership and a seat on the London Stock Exchange in 1940.

As with his future partner his career was punctuated by the war. After the war he worked in the legal department at Shell before returning to Australia for family reasons in 1948.

In 1949 he joined the Sydney Stock Exchange as a sole trader but soon joined fellow sole trader Meares.

The partnership soon moved from its small client base to become involved in some major share floats including Yates Seeds, Ampol Exploration, Canberra Television, J B Young and Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT).

Bishop remained with the firm until 1965 and Meares retired from his role in the firm in 1970.

Device: The M&B pattern is found on the revenue stamps of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania as well as Western Australia. All of the strikes are identical and Meares and Bishop are not known to have had offices or seats on Stock Exchanges other than in Sydney. Given this it is reasonable to assume that the device was located in Sydney and applied to revenue stamps of various States as required to process transactions within the jurisdiction of a given State revenue office. This is supported by company stamps applied to documents that all show the Bligh Street, Sydney address.

Multiples of this pattern show an inconsistent relationship to each other so the device is most likely a single head one. This is supported by the fact that the strikes are identical which is less likely on a multiple die device, which often show variation between dies.

The M&B device is only found on revenue stamps and the use on documents shows that the stamps are punctured prior to being affixed, indicating use as a security device rather than a cancelling device. The use as a security device to prevent theft is further supported by the fact that once affixed the stamps are then cancelled either by pen, company cachet or circular punch.

The device was used between 1962 and 1967.

Related Patterns: Refer to other usage of this A D Meares and Bishop device in:

NSW:   M&B.a

QLD:    M&B.a

TAS:    M&B.a

VIC:    M&B.a



User: Mobil Oil Australia

Oil Manufacturers and Suppliers


Revenue Use:

1951-63 issue 3d

Rarity Scale:

1951-63 issue 3d R3.

Background: Mobil Oil Australia was formed in 1963 having previously been known in Australia as the Vacuum Oil Company.

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: This MOA device located in Perth is the only perfin device to be used by the renamed company.  There were about 7 VOCO devices still in use in the 1950’s but only the devices in Perth, Melbourne and Newcastle were still in use in the early 1960’s, when the name change occured.

This MOA device is also found used on postage stamps but this usage is short lived and is limited to 1962-63.

The MOA device was most likely a single head device as it is found to produce central strikes in a range of stamp sizes from the small WA revenues to larger format 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

Related patterns: Refer to other Vacuum Oil/Mobil Oil Company patterns in:

NSW:   VO/CO.a

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

SA:     VO/CO.a  VO/CO.b

TAS:    VOCO.a

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

WA:    VOCO.a  VOCO.b  VO/CO.a


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