Communication has come a long way

2008-05-09 00:00

A few months ago when I was speaking to some 13-year-olds I mentioned the word “telegram”, and realised that some of them, in an age of e-mails, cellphones and text messages, might not know what that was.

Your message was typed out in the telegraph office and came through at the other end on a narrow strip of paper, like the ticker tape in a stockbroker’s office. The receiving office snipped it up into convenient lengths, pasted it on to a form, put it in an orange envelope and it was ready for delivery. If you lived in a city or town, a telegram would be brought to you by a telegraph messenger. If not, it was read out to you over the phone and the envelope would follow in due course by ordinary mail.

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