03 Feb 2006

Western Union Sends its Last Telegram

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Samuel F.B. Morse – Yale Class of 1810

The Globe and Mail reports:

WASHINGTON — Word came, ironically enough, in an announcement over Western Union’s website.

Last Friday, 162 years after Samuel Morse sent out his first message over a telegraph line, the legendary U.S. company quietly ended its telegram service in the United States, citing a decline in business that began in the 1920s and hasn’t let up since. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause you and we thank you for your loyal patronage,” the company said.

In the peak year of 1929, when Western Union still operated what has been called “the nervous system of American business,” the company handled 200 million telegrams.

Last year, faced with competition from phone calls, faxes, e-mails and cellphone text messages, it handled barely 20,000. Most of its multibillion-dollar business now comes from money transfers.

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One Feedback on "Western Union Sends its Last Telegram"

Bohemian

Kind of a sad story; you know, end of an era kind of thing. It’s amazing to think how far the methods of communication have come in such a relativly short time.



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