Have You Gotten a Telegraph Lately?

I was thinking how quaint using hand signals in my Jeep have been and continue to be.

No, I didn’t figure out what is wrong yet. It must be the contacts in the switch or something amiss in the wiring harness. For sure it has new relays.

Anyway, it got me thinking about quaint stuff from the past.

One such instance is I actually got a telegram in 1979 when I got married. Hell telegrams were out of style then.

Remember, this was before faxes and email. Long distance telephone was still metered by the minute.

I can’t remember how it was delivered to me but it was delivered personally. It was a Saturday in November and someone put a telegram in my hand congratulating me on getting married, and it wished me good fortunes. My childhood pastor sent it to me.

It was kind of yellow in color and had type face like an old teletype. I guess that is how it was sent, by teletype.

I still have that telegram somewhere I think.

Now that gets me thinking about teletypes. They were so cool.

I used to hang out at a radio station sometimes and watch the teletypes pound out news from the Associated Press. Literally they were mechanical typewriters on the receiving end typing the latest news, sports, and weather. They would type reams of paper and it piled up on the floor in a continuous roll.

The news guy, heck the only guy at the station would run out to the machines mountain of paper while a song was playing and sort the news for the top of the hour news update.

The machine continued to pound out news…click, click, click. It typed forward and backwards which I thought was too cool.

4 comments:

Jay said...

When we would have severe weather when I was a kid we would have the radio tuned to the local station. They would always give the weather warning from the same room with the teletype machines. So while some dude was telling us that there was a tornado warning in Boone county we could also hear the latest warnings zipping over the machines behind him. In fact I can still hear them right now if I just close my eyes and remember.

Bonnie Luria said...

I'm drinking in this fox trot down nostalgia lane right there with you.
In 1985, my then husband to be ( who passed away years ago ) sent me a telelgram, delivered to my office before I left on a business trip to Italy.
I still remember what it said and how special it felt.

Different from printing out an e-mail.

Ahhh, there were some good old days.

And when in that same office we said, after the teletype machine seemed old, what do we need a fax for? No one will use it!!
Shortly after that statement, THREE fax machines weren't sufficient.

Then we said, e-mail? Who's going to use it?
Then computers on everyones' desk weren't sufficient since everyone was too busy IM-ing their friends and shopping!!

Where does it go from here?
Telepathy with subcutaneous micro-chips? Count me out.

Reggie said...

Yes Bonnie, a telegram was very special.

Remember the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite? You could hear the many teletypes pounding away during the entire broadcast.

Those were the days.

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