On this date in History ...... 1838:
demonstrates his telegraph system in Morristown, NJ, a device that would
revolutionize long distance communication, peaking in the 1920s and 1930s.
1843, he convinced a “skeptical Congress” to finance the first line from
Washington DC to Baltimore and lines across the country were quickly built
across the country.
The telegraph system
created its own culture. Telegrams
charged per word but the word “stop" was allowed for free, so people used that
at the end of a sentence instead of a period (which counted as a chargeable
word). During the Depression (1933) Western Union introduced singing telegrams,
and during WWII, the sight of a Western Union carrier caused dread because it
was the method that families learned of a soldier’s death.
In January 2006,
Western Union, the company that had put the Pony Express out of business by
providing faster communication, sent it last telegram, having been put out of
business by cheaper phone service, faxes and emails which could provide faster