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The History of the Telegram

Since as long ago as the 1830's when British Inventors William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone devised the electric telegraph system, the breakthrough in communications which came to be known as the telegram has been responsible for reporting world-shattering events.

Telegram, telegraph, cablegram, radio telegram: evocative names which signal significant news for the recipient.

From the news of gold found in California to the discovery of a disguised Dr Crippen aboard the SS Montrose, the key witness was always the telegram.

Even today in a world saturated with instant technological exchanges, the impact made by the telegram is no less.

Key Moments

1845 First telegraph service opened in the UK.

1850's The sending and receiving of messages had been dubbed 'Telegrams'

1907 Denmark introduces the first 'artistic' telegram form.

1913 82 million telegrams sent in the UK.

1939 Over 50 million telegrams sent in the UK.

1943 Telegram service suspended due to war.

1981 Telegram service became part of British Telecom.

1991 New computerised telegram system (EMHS) installed.

1994-99 LoveGram, WeddingGram, BabyGram & SantaGram are introduced.

2001 On-Line ordering is launched.

2003 TelegramsOnline takes over the telegram service from BT.