Thursday, February 02, 2006

And Another Thing Bites the Dust!

According to today's newspaper, The telegram is dead. Western Union has decided to stop this portion of their services. I thought you might like to see an example of a telegram; this one was sent to my mom (name and address are blocked) in December 1953, by a friend who was out of the country at the time. Time was, the telegram was the only way to send a message to some people, those who could not be contacted by phone or those for whom a letter would take too long.

The New York Daily News column, written by Helen Kennedy, says:

"The telegram is dead STOP. Gone the way of 33 1/3rd record players, cigarette cases, steamships, rotary phones and typewriters STOP.

In an age of email and cell phones semi-permanently attached to people's heads, Western Union finally said STOP.

The ultimate irony: The company's terse ending of a 161-year era appeared on the Internet. "We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage," the notice said..........

The first telegram was sent by inventor Samuel Morse from Washington to Baltimore on May 24, 1844, and read simply, "What hath God Wrought!"

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

My grandfather worked for Western Union his whole life, in Charleston. So sad, the way everything just sort of fades to black.

sage said...

I've gotten 2 telegraphs in my life--they were special. As a kid, I use to be an amateur radio operator and enjoyed using morse code--suppose fewer folks are learning that today also.

Inanna said...

How fascinating and I had no idea they would no longer send telegrams.

MommaK said...

Hey Ms. Sassy! I was just over at Raehan's and read your comment about ...what was it?... Ripping my hair out???. I have to admit that made me spit the tortilla chips (that me & my fat ass should not be eating) right out of my mouth! :lol:

jude said...

I am suprised. Not so much because they are used in this country, but other parts of the world where the internet is not so wide spread. Here from michele's..

~A~ said...

That makes me sad in a way.

Michele sent me.

Carmi said...

Even though I spend my career talking about the latest technologies, I always feel a sense of loss when a piece of history like this goes dark.

I remember when I was a kid, and how receiving a telegram at a big event was a huge deal. Today, e-mail has removed the magic from the process. And now our kids will never again have those precious pieces of paper to hold onto.

Plus ca change...

mar said...

I have only gotten a telegram a couple of times in my life, the one I remember the most was from my friend in college, back in 1976. I had left on vacation without knowing my grade in accounting (I was doing terribly) and then I got a B!!! and it was written in a telegram. Michele sent me this time. Lovely visit, as always.

colleen said...

This makes me sad too. Not that I ever used it but I like to know it was there.

My grandmother died with a telegraph on her chest of heart disease in 1964. It was a Chrismas wish from my father, sent to her hospital room. The oral part of the story goes that she said "My Robert" or something like that. My father was not her son, but he reunited my mother (her daughter) with her.

Prego said...

Lamentably, along with the demise of the telegram - so follows eloquence.

ttfn - l8r
<3

p

Anne said...

This makes me sad :(

So many wonderful things have gone by the wayside in recent years and I absolutely hate that nobody seems to recognize their value!

Mom still has telegrams sent from grandpa to grandma suring the war--blacked out alot by Uncle Sam, but still fascinating.