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Christmas Gift Guide

Telegrams. Stop.

Western Union announced this week that the company has . The service was part of the company's original mission back when it was founded in 1851 as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (the name was changed in 1856).


Telegram business was eclipsed by cheap and efficient long distance telephone calls, and more recently by widespread e-mail availability.

While accepting progress, bloggers mourned the end of an era.

Blog community response:

"That's right, if you're one of the few folks still using telegrams to send little Billy his birthday wishes, we're sorry to tell you that you need to get with the times and join the 21st Century (you're off to a good start if you're not reading this on a telegram)."

"Will emails ever be sold on eBay as collectors items? Most likely not. And there certainly never was a problem with telegram spam. Ahh, the good ol' days. Then again, you can't really be nostalgic for something that few (if any) of us have actually used -- I mean, it's almost been a week since we've been without telegrams, and nobody seemed to notice."

"Only once did I ever send/get a telegram, but for some reason, this really bums me out. End of an era and all that. But for some people, this has much bigger ramifications. Low-wage immigrants often use Western Union to wire money back home to their families. It avoided the entanglements of banks and didn't involve technological or financial hurdles."