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Australia's First Airmail

The story of Maurice Guillaux and related Australian aviation history

Philately

The stamp buy of the year: Cards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1785 of the re-enactment flight. Other unique items are available in our shop:  Details here.....

A brief history.....

1914

The entrepreneur Arthur Rickard contracted the American Wizard Stone to fly the first Melbourne-Sydney air mail bit he crashed his aircraft and was injured.
Rickard entered negotiations with Guillaux, but it seems that the final operation was organised by members of Guillaux’ team..

A few points of interest. Guilllaux' postcards seem to have been quickly printed;; they were not in colour as were Stones, and the wrong aircraft was shown on the cards. Guillaux' cards were not widely advertised, as were Stone's; there is evidence that more than 2000 numbered cards were printed, but general agreement that only 1785 cards were carried. A similar design was used for cards carried by Basil Watson in 1917,

1914 information and cards

Catalogue entry for sale of Guillaux memorabilia 2002

Forged Guillaux signature held by PowerHouse museum.

1934 and 1939

There were no formal commemorations but the anniversaries were noted for example in the context of air mails to New Zealand and to the UK.

1964

There were major commemorations with a re-enactment flight by two Victa airtourers and a jet aircraft

1989

A stamped envelope was produced with a special mail delivery by jet aircraft.

2010

A series of stamps was issued to mark the centenary of the first flight in Australia. These commemorated John Duigan, Colin Defries and Harry Houdini. As well as the standard Australia Post issues, several 'products' were issued by various organisations. The Temora Aviation Museum conducted a re-enactment flight between Wagga Wagga and Temora, details of which can be seen here.

2014

On 1 July 2014 Australia Post issued  commemorative stamps in 70c and $2.30 denominations and also a selection of commemorative items which have now been withdrawn from sale. On 12-14 July commemorative mail was carried as descried elsewhere in this site. For some details see our shop.