Q:

What is the process to send a telegram from the post office?

A:

Quick Answer

It is no longer possible to send a telegram, and the U.S. Post Office never sent telegrams for customers. The service is obsolete, and the last telegram in the United States was sent by Western Union on Feb. 2, 2006. India was the last country in the world to use the telegraph to send messages and sent its final telegram on July 13, 2013.

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Full Answer

In 1844, Samuel Morse, the inventor of Morse code and holder of the patent for the telegraph, sent the first telegram from Washington to Baltimore. His message read: "What hath God wrought?" The message, which began the telegraph era, also initiated the displacement of the Pony Express.

During the 1920s and 1930s, sending a telegram was less expensive than a long distance call, making the service extremely popular. During World War II, the War Department notified families of the death of a servicemember by using a telegram.

The service continued to lose ground as telephone costs dropped. As digital messaging and email grew in popularity, this technology replaced the need for the telegram. The final telegraph message, both in the United States and in India, was a single word: "Stop." The word "stop" was used by telegraphers to indicate the end of a sentence as Morse code did not include punctuation.

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