Royal Reels: Gambling


This 1889 small folded advertising circular for Dodgshun Sons & Co. of Launceston, Tasmania was postally used from Longford Tasmania, JY 9/ 89 to Messrs E. & W.L. Bartlett, Latrobe, Tasmania with a single 1d Queen Victoria sideface stamp (paying the advertising rate), tied by the Longford barred numeral ’54’. The cover is clearly marked ‘CIRCULAR ONLY’ (Figure 1).

The circular side is quite spectacular, particularly considering its age, being printed in red and blue on yellow paper. It reads: DODGSHUN SONS & CO., WAREHOUSEMEN, LAUNCESTON, DEPARTMENTS, Manchester Clothing, Dresses, Fancy Millinery, Hosiery, Haberdashery, Woollens, Stationery, Boots & Shoes. York Street, LAUNCESTON with a hand written “9th July 1889 Our Mr. Wm. Forbes” will have the pleasure of waiting upon you on or about the “11th inst” when the favour of your orders will receive our attention, Yours truly, Dodgshun Sons & Co. AND AT LONDON 115 Fare Street, LEEDS Basinghall Street, DUNEDIN Stratford Street (Figure 2).

The New Zealand (Dodgshun’s) at Dunedin has been confirmed by a cover advert on a N.Z. internet cover site, and the London and Leeds addresses are presumed English addresses. There is one UK website on the variations of the Dodgshun name: Dodgerson, Dodgson, Dogeson, Dodgshon, Dodgshun and Dodshon. More research needs to be done on these names! The Dodgshuns of Launceston were wholesale clothing manufacturers and warehousemen supplying the trade with soft goods, general fancy goods, boots and shoes, clothing, artificial flowers and wigs. They were also wool buyers.

From about 1881 the Dodgshun companies had warehouses and factories at various locations in York Street. The 1896/97 Tasmanian Post Office Directory has internal and external photographs of their warehouse at 91-93 York Street, which has since been demolished. The 150 years of Australian history was celebrated at the Dodgshun family reunion in Melbourne on 26 April 2003.

The helpful assistance of the staff of Launceston Library and Ross Ewington of Tasmanian Stamp Auctions is gratefully acknowledged, for this paper could not have been written without their help.

Addendum:  This item appeared on eBay more than 2 years after this paper was written.  It shows 14 copies of the 1d orange ‘Stamp Duty’ stamp of Victoria addressed to the Launceston firm on 19/12/97 on a private conveyance Parcel Post (Figure 3).

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