I prefer to get my news through telegram. That’s right the OLD internet. Let’s take a trip back in time to the beginning of telecommunications!
Interestingly, the telegraph was simultaneously invented in both the UK and the US in 1837. In the UK, the first commercial telegraph was constructed by Sir William Fothergill Cooke and used in the Great Western Railway in Britain. It was patented in 1837. AND, Mr. Samuel Morse and his buddy Alfred Vail constructed the the electrical telegraph and developed Morse Code in 1837 in the States. They sent their first message across two miles of wire.. and the message was “A patient waiter is no loser.” Here, here I think we can all agree to that. Right? Absolutely.
**You may hear that the first telegraphed message was “What has God wrought” however, my sources (WIKIPEDIA) disagree**
(Damnit, someone is eating beef stew again! Such a rich disgusting smell and just when I was getting all excited about my telegrams. Pish aaaah. Ok, focus, ignore… tangible… reeking… warm smelling… air)
So telegrams! After being developed and implemented in both the US and Europe in the late 1830s the telegram went international. And even better, the first transoceanic telegram took place 150 years ago (two days ago) – August 16, 1858. The first telegram sent from Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan read as follows:
“The Queen desires to congratulate the President upon the successful completion of this great international work, in which the Queen has taken the deepest interest. The Queen is convinced that the President will join with her in fervently hoping that the electric cable, which now connects Great Britain with the United States, will prove an additional link between the two places whose friendship is founded upon their common interests and reciprocal esteem. The Queen has much pleasure in thus directly communicating with the President, and in renewing to him her best wishes for the prosperity of the United States.”
I wonder how often the Queen did indeed drop the old Prez a line and express her excitement for the US’s renewed prosperity. Or do you think she’s one of those people who says they’ll call and never does?
Here’s a map of the electronic telegraph lines as of 1891.
I found out that you can still send a telegram not via Western Union though. It turns out that Western Union sent its last telegram on January 27, 2006. (Check it out) Sigh. However, you can still send telegrams through International Telegram, which uses Western Union’s original cabled network. So if you feel like you’ve got something to say, but don’t want to say it with an email, phone call, fax, text, IM, or overnight package, then head to International Telegram and spread the news.