The End of the Telegram?

20 Feb

The world’s first telegram was sent on May 24, 1844 by inventor Samuel Morse. The last telegram was just sent last month on January 27, 2006 by Western Union; they decided to discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. If you are not familiar with the telegram, you are not alone. Over the last 10 years, the popularity of the telegram has been a one-way course with disaster. Forms of electronic communication such as email, fax, instant messaging and text messaging have made the telegram obsolete.

Imagine you want to send a message and you want to get it to someone quick. Sixty years ago, the elite way to send a message was to call Western Union and their agent would transcribe and then hand delivers your message to your recipient. If you watch any movie from the 1950s, there was always a scene where a delivery boy would interrupt shouting, “Telegram, Telegram… I have a Telegram for Mr. Smith.” This mode of communication signified a certain amount of urgency and class. It was a way of life.

The death of the Telegram signifies the end of an era. This is the end of a simpler time where a sending a message took hours instead of seconds. Western Union said, “The significant decline in its use prompted us to stop the service.” Personally, I think the telegram will still live in some form. I mean Eastern Onion is still delivering the singing telegram. In the age of digital music, there still are LPs released on vinyl. Morse code was a form of communication that was popular in the 1950s but is still used by the military. CBs were extremely popular in the 1970s and even with the proliferation of cell phones, the trucking industry is still using them. The telegram will live on in some form; it?s not over until the fat lady sings.

History of telegram

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