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The last telegram

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article that appeared in MSNBC _http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11147506/_ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11147506/) The end of an era First few paragraphs
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2006
      URL to an article that appeared in MSNBC

      The end of an era

      First few paragraphs
      DENVER - For more than 150 years, messages of joy, sorrow and success came
      in signature yellow envelopes hand-delivered by a courier. Now the Western
      Union telegram is officially a thing of the past.
      The company formed in April 1856 to exploit the hot technology of the
      telegraph to send cross-country messages in less than a day. It is now focusing its
      attention on money transfers and other financial services, and delivered its
      final telegram on Friday.
      “The decision was a hard decision because we’re fully aware of our heritage,
      ” said Victor Chayet, a spokesman for the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based
      company. “But it’s the final transition from a communications company to a
      financial services company.”

      Several telegraph companies that eventually combined to become Western Union
      were founded in 1851. Western Union built its first transcontinental
      telegraph line in 1861.

      “At the time it was as incredible and astonishing as the computer when it
      first came out,” said Tom Noel, a history professor at the University of
      Colorado at Denver. “For people who could barely understand it, here you had the
      magic of the electric force traveling by wire across the country.”

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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