Sunday, August 09, 2015


Remember how telegrams used to end sentences with the word "STOP," instead of a period?

The reason was because Western Union charged for punctuation, but not for words of only 4 letters.

Western Union Delivery Boy
I learned that small fact in an article I read about the 150 year old company sending its last telegram in 2006.

In its time Western Union played a huge part in this country's history.

It was an important part of my family as well. One of my father's first jobs was as a bicycle delivery
boy for Western Union. He later taught himself the Morse Code and worked as a telegrapher for the company.  My mother also worked at Western Union.  She retired from there after 40 years.

I often think of how depressing many of her days were...putting those telegrams together from the War Department during WW2 informing parents of the deaths of their soldier sons and daughters...and then sending them out to be delivered.

As far as I know, Western Union is still around, doing fairly well sending money orders.

But those "glory days" of bringing "earth shattering" news, both happy AND tragic, have STOP -ed.