Between April 1860 to October 1861 the Pony Express was the fastest way to move mail, newspapers, and telegrams. Men and horses crossed the western wilderness faster than ever before. It only took ten days for a saddle bag full of messages to move from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. Ten days! The Pony Express closed when the U.S. government completed a telegraph line between New York City, New York and San Francisco, California. Now, the mind-boggling fast ten days seem like an eternity. Telegrams could now be delivered in minutes.
On August 20, 1911
On this date 102 years ago a test verified that distances were becoming smaller than ever before.
The [New York] Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply “This message sent around the world,” left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores–among other locations–the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company. — This Day in History | History.com
Around The World Today
Around the world in sixteen-and-a-half minutes. By today’s standards, that is incredibly slow, but back then, that speed was barely imaginable. During my research for this post, it shocked me to learn that Western Union sent its last telegram in 2006 and India (the last country to use the telegram) sent its last telegram in July 2013. Yes, 2013! The telegraph served the world effectively for over 150 years. Continue reading “Around the World in…”