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 Australian Printers

Letter to the Editor
I found the April 1998 issue of Australasian Stamps to be as fascinating as ever.  I particularly enjoyed the article by Richard Breckon entitled ‘Modern Australian Stamp Printers’. Richard made a confusing subject understandable, for I have long needed to better comprehend the position regarding what printer did what and who each company is/was owned by.

I detail below what I have recorded in my files regarding the reason why Norman J Field got involved in stamp printing, for it differs from Richard’s reason (given as machine breakdown).

I understand that there had been enormous problems at the Government Printers, Canberra when trying to print the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II issue. Laying down the silver ink proved impossible and an extensive proofing exercise was undertaken at the premises of Seligson and Clare, Australian agents for the SORDZ press that Government Printers had been trying to use.  In the end, the job was mainly printed by Field’s and perforated at the Note Printing Branch of the Reserve Bank of Australia.  

It is believed that Field’s never again printed stamps and reverted to their more normal commercial printing operation. My files indicate that the source for this information was the Australian Post Office and I would welcome clarification of the information that I have supplied.

Richard has missed-out one modern-day Australian stamp printer, possibly because they did not print for Australia Post. This firm is Scott Printers Pty. Limited trading as Scott Four-Colour Print, based in Perth. Their first stamp was printed in 1990 for Cocos (Keeling) Islands, but, in a letter, the company sales manager recently stated to me: “…we have little demand for this form of production”.  Clearly, this is not a printer name that we shall see much of in our stamp albums. The source for this information was ‘Scott's Printing and Pre-Press’ company brochure from the mid-1990s and private correspondence, 1997. Unfortunately, I do not have ready access to my specialised catalogue to indicate the issue(s) that Scott produced.   I hope that this may be of interest to your readers.

(First published in 'Australasian Stamps', Australia 1998)

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