rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Ephemera

Still no proper storm. A few gusts of wind and a shower or two perked things up for a while, but now we are back to dull drizzles. Hmph. The weather is on opiates. Even the Internets are more interesting than this.


R.I.P. The Telegram
1844-2006


The Western Union telegram died quietly, four days ago. The telegram as a type (no pun intended) probably isn't entirely dead yet. They probably still have them in other countries (for a while, at least), and those little companies which provide singing faux telegrams for birthday greetings and such in large cities will probably continue to operate, but Western Union, the company whose name was, for Americans, long synonymous with the telegram will no longer provide this service. I never got a telegram, and never sent one. I don't think I know anyone who ever did. The closest anyone I know ever came to sending an actual telegram was when my parents had to send money by wire to my older brother a couple of times. That isn't the same, though.

Just as Wells Fargo, which once delivered goods of all sorts to every corner of the nation through its system of railroad express cars, wagons, and stage coaches, continues to exist as a bank, Western Union will remain in business (it currently has revenues of about three billion dollars annually), providing other services, mostly to do with transferring funds, but the telegram has gone the way of the Pony Express. I'm really a bit surprised that the telegram lasted as long as it did. I wonder if people will start selling old telegrams on e-Bay now that there will be no more of them made? Telegrams from the famous have probably always had some value, but now even telegrams sent to or by unknown people will be artifacts of a vanished age.
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