Published: 27th April 2021
#ThrowBackToday: The lines to sending a telegram opened 167 years ago today
No, we are not referring to the app Telegram, people! In today's #TBT, we talk about the telegram services which were used in the bygone era to send urgent and pressing messages. This is how it began
Before instant messaging and the internet, the fastest way to communicate was via telegram. No! We are not referring to the app, but the service that was brought to India by the British in the 1850s. Any doomsday message or good news that needed to be communicated on an urgent basis was done via the telegram or taar as it was referred to. It was on April 27, 1854 when the first telegram was sent from Mumbai to Pune.
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If you had an urgent message to send in the bygone days, you would have to make your way to the post office and stand by the telegram window. Brevity was the need of the hour because the more verbose your message, the more it would cost you. The messages were sent through telephone wires. With newer and faster forms of communication coming into play, telegram services were retired on July 15, 2013 because there was simply no need for it anymore. There were over 75 telegram centres in the country and 1,000 employees and they used to function under BSNL.
Often dubbed as a harbinger of bad news, the telegram was once a service that was greatly relied upon by Indians.