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Private Revenue Perfins of New South Wales

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



Reader's Digest



User: Reader's Digest Association Pty Ltd

Magazine Producer

Address: Readers Digest House, 26-32 Waterloo St, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW

Revenue Use:

Numeral 1929-66 issue 3d

Decimal 1966 issue 3c

Rarity Scale:

Numeral 1929-66 R1

Decimal 1966 R1

Background: The first issue of Reader’s Digest was published on 3 February, 1922. It was conceived while De Witt Wallace, a U.S. veteran from World War 1, was recovering from shrapnel wounds. The magazine’s format consisted of articles on popular subjects, with one longer article, several pages of humour, and personal anecdote. A ‘Word Power’ column was added in 1945, while from 2010 the U.S. edition increased the number of inspiring spiritual stories and military stories.

In 1938, Reader’s Digest was launched in the United Kingdom (sold in 2010) with new countries and regions being added throughout the following decades to include most of Europe, the Asia - Pacific and China (2008-2012). The magazine is currently published in 49 editions and 21 languages. The company also publishes books, DVDs, CDs and other media.


In 1990, the magazine’s parent company The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. (RDA) became a publicly traded corporation which was bought, in 2007, by Ripplewood Holdings LLC heading a consortium of private equity investors. In 2009, RDA filed for bankruptcy, and again in 2013.


Reader’s Digest Association Pty Ltd first published in Australia in late 1946, with offices at 324 Pitt Street, Sydney; John G. Cooper being the first managing director. (In 1954, J.N. Walker was managing director)


In 1951, a Melbourne office was opened at 98 Collins Street with Frank Tracey as Victorian branch manager. By 1954, Reader’s Digest had moved to 108 Collins Street.


At some time after 1955, the Sydney headquarters moved to their current address at 80 Bay Road, Ultimo (Sydney). In late 2016, Readers Digest business in Australia and New Zealand was acquired by multi-channel direct marketing and media company, Direct Group.

Device: Ruler

Related Patterns: Nil





User: Royal Exchange Assurance Co

Insurance Provider

Address: 75-77 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW

Revenue Use:

KEDVII 1909-28 issue 1/- 

Rarity Scale:

KEDVII 1909-28 issue 1/- R4

Background: See REA.a in the perfin section

Device: Handstamp

Related Patterns: Refer to other Atlas, Royal Exchange and related company patterns in:

NSW: A.a  A.b  A.c  A.d  BEA.a  GAC.a  REA.a  REA.b  SAC.a

Other – Section 2 Commercial Overprints

           State/Assurance/Co Ltd.a

QLD:  A.a


Received for/W. E. Smith/



User: W. E Smith Ltd

Printer and Stationer

Address: 28-30 Bridge St, Sydney, NSW

             227-229 George St, Sydney, NSW

Revenue Use: 

1894 issue 2d

Rarity Scale:

1894 issue 2d R4

Background: William Easdown Smith was born in England in 1838 and emigrated to Australia in the late 1870’s. In the early 1880’s he established a small stationery business, selling specialty papers and later expanded into printing, producing calendars and diaries.

The business grew and Smith established his printing business in  premises at 28 – 30  Bridge St, as well an adjoining property. The company also had a show room and retail outlet in George St. In June 1899 the company became a limited liability company, as W. E Smith Ltd, with Smith as Managing Director.

On 30 September 1899 the companies Bridge St premises were guttered by fire and this fire may well have destroyed the overprinting device.

Smith regularly returned to England to secure stock and he was in London when he died on 22 May 1912. The company continued to trade successfully and was still operating as late as 1957 and most likely later.

Device: Preprinted in black

Related Patterns: Nil


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