Thursday, February 02, 2006

Telegrams Done. Period.

[[M I L E S T O N E S]] * Startling news received today - STOP - Final telegraph message sent by Western Union last Friday, January 27 - STOP - No more buff-colored telegrams winging their way across country and world - STOP - Telegraph technology invented in England in 1830s - STOP - Patented independently in United States by inventor Samuel Morse in 1837 - STOP - Western Union Telegraph Company founded in Rochester, New York, in 1851 - STOP - Company completed first U.S. transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, at start of Civil War - STOP - Telegrams once considered height of long-distance communication - STOP - Used to announce births, weddings, deaths, successful flight of Wright Brothers’ plane in 1903, sinking of the Titanic in 1912 - STOP - Peak of Western Union’s telegram business in 1929 - STOP - Company then delivered almost 550,000 telegrams a day - STOP - Singing telegrams introduced in 1930s - STOP - Only 20,000 telegrams delivered by Western Union in 2005, about 55 a day - STOP - Telephone technology was beginning of end for telegrams - STOP - Faxes, e-mail, instant messaging tossed final dirt on telegram’s grave - STOP - Western Union will continue its lucrative business in money transfers - STOP - When will these assaults on quaint historical practices - STOP?

READ MORE:The Last Post: The Telegram Is Dead. Stop,” by Andrew Buncombe (The Independent); “Western Union Sends Its Last Telegram” (National Public Radio); “Western Union Ends Telegram Service” (Associated Press); “A Brief History of Telegrams” (; “Appreciations: The Telegram,” by Verlyn Klinkenborg (The New York Times).

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