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Old 06-19-2001, 07:31 PM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NY USA
Posts: 7,635
I've heard references to sending a 'wire' or 'telegram' via Western Union even as late as after WWII. But did this really involve a guy tapping out dots & dashes on a key? Even if that part was automated did the data itself still travel as dots & dashes over WU's wire network? Were those yellow pieces of paper with the glued-on words and the word 'STOP' between sentences generated from dots & dashes?

Did people really keep using the telegraph rather than the telephone that far into the 20th century?
Old 06-19-2001, 09:13 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 11,261
From Morse Code Tidbits:

Western Union, for example, quit using Morse code in the 1960s.
From The WA3GOS Web page:

Manual landline telegraphy was slowly phased out until the 1960s when Western Union and the railroads discontinued use of their last Morse circuits.
Ahh, getting warmer:

Western Union continued to use the telegraph until the mid-1960s. And it was not until just this year that it quietly dropped the word telegraph from its name and officially became the Western Union Corp.
And that's as close as I could get to when WU stopped using Morse Code. It's only been about 2 years since its use was ended for the sending of maritime distress calls (1999 IIRC). I don't know when they quit using a key; they had Telex machines in the 1950s.

It's not that strange, in this binary age, to think about transmitting intelligence with coded electronic pulses.

Did people really keep using the telegraph rather than the telephone that far into the 20th century?
Thoughts that spring to mind include:
a.) You couldn't send money over a telephone,
b.) You couldn't get a signature for a phone call.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-19-2001, 09:18 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,115
The 1960's. But I can't answer definitely that the dots and dashes were still used. I think they were. Until TWX came along.
Old 06-20-2001, 07:28 PM
Sparteye Sparteye is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 150
I read an article about telegraph operators last year, which related how the operators -- now all retired but still skilled at Morse Code -- missed exercising their talents. So, they developed a computer program which permits them to dot-and-dash online. Now, they talk to each other in Morse Code over the net. What an interesting juxtaposition of obsolete and current technologies.


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