155-yr-old telegram service ends

New York, February 6:

Though most did not notice, the 155-year-old Western Union telegram service in the US came to an end last month. The firm announced that it was discontinuing the service on — where else — its website.

“Effective from January 27, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage,” said a note on the co-mpany’s website. Thus ca-me the end for the service that began before the Ame-rican Civil War and brought news of joy and sorrow in distinctive, hand-delivered, yellow envelopes.

It was a difficult decision for the firm that provided coast-to-coast transmissions, and was part of history in the making during the 19th century as well as the first half of the 20th century. “The decision was a hard decision because we’re fully aware of our heritage,” Victor Chayet, a spokesman for the company, was quoted as saying by BBC News portal. Western Union entered the international money transfer market in the 1980s and has a presence in 200 countries.

Western Union built its first transatlantic telegraph line in 1861. At one time, it employed a fleet of 14,000 couriers operating on bicycle and on foot.