On January 27, 2006, Western Union discontinued its 155 year-old telegraph service. Telegrams became a very important mode of communication through the 20th century and became the standard conveyor of good and bad news.
The very first telegram was sent by the inventor of the Morse Code, Samuel Morse. On May 26, 1844, he sent his partner Alfred Vail a telegram that read “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?” ushering in an era in which the telegram would rule the roost and completely displace the Pony Express. The telegram was sent from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland. The system of dots and dashes used in telegraph transmission, developed by Morse and Vail underwent much change and standardization to form the American Morse in 1844. This was soon internationally adopted and adapted to form the International Morse.
A number of American telegraph companies founded in 1851 eventually went on to merge to become Western Union Telegraph Company based in Englewood Village, Colorado. In 1861 the Western Union built its first transcontinental telegraph line. …(Read more)