STOP Just a small slip of paper STOP fading into the past STOP

Posted by on May 12, 2008

This one actually happened before I started blogging.  I thought about it this morning and knew it would be a great topic to talk about.  Can  you guess what it is?  Here are some hints:

(1)

Ok, one more:

(2)

Yes, you got it: Western Union! Once a prime method of communicating long distances in the United States, the Western Union telegram, as reported in the early part of 2006, is now faded into history.  But what a history it has.  Take a look at this next example:

(3)

Delivered by messenger on foot, bike, and other methods of transportation, the Western Union telegram was an integral part of communications earlier in this century.  Acts of war (and casualties of war to families), greetings and family events all have been served by a simple telegram.  Last example, try to look at the larger image if you get a chance:

(4)

Killed off by faster methods of communication such as cell phones, email and other digital communications, the telegram will live on, preserving a lifetime of American history.  One interesting fact to note is that Western Union got its start by colluding with the railroads, thereby vastly expanding it’s capabilities, according to the History of Telegraphy.  Here’s another factoid to throw out at your next party:

“…By the end of the war…” (Civil War)…”the company will have outdistanced all its rivals, possessing 44,000 miles of wire and 1,014 telegraph offices…” (5)

Check out the links below if you get a moment or two…especially the NPR link.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!

Links:

NPR: Western Union Story

Wikipedia: Western Union

Western Union Alumni (external commercial site)

(Book: Telegram!: Modern History….)

Sources:

(1-4) Nara

(5) History of Telegraphy

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