hit more fairways. make more putts. avoid the hazards. play by the rules.

Posted on Thursday 2 February 2006

And so another technology fades from the scene. Western Union delivered its last telegram last Friday after 155 years in the business. The telegram, the paper manifestation of a telegraph message, first appeared in 1844 in a now-famous message transmitted from the US Capitol to the train station in Baltimore. Samuel F. B. Morse is widely credited with the invention although a group in England patented a nearly identical system at about the same time. (There’s an entertaining page about the history of the telegraph and telegram here.)

Only a few decades after Morse sent his message the telephone appeared on the scene, although it would be several more decades before it would be widely available. (One imagines that the growth curve of technology adoption hasn’t changed that much, frankly.) Interestingly enough there was a significant patent lawsuit between Western Union and the promoters of the telephone. That might sound familiar…

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