This Western Union video indicates how the telegraph network was still a vital backbone in the mid-1950s to "serve the communications need of America." Interesting to note the use of the telephone to call Western Union to send a telegram. This is an indication that even with the advances of Operator Toll Dialing, Universal Service and Direct Distance Dialing, for basic functional messages, the telegraph was still the least expensive and most effective method. Faxes also passed across the telegraph network.
Use of the telegraph network then was very much like text messaging (SMS) is used today in the sense that it operated over a legacy network that had been outdated for its original intention but was quickly put to use as an adjunct to the new. Text messages are transmitted over the traditional analog paging network and not on the digital cellular voice/data network.
The analogy is the telegraph backbone, although no longer the primary method of transmitting information was still in use for useful low-cost functional purposes for decades. The analog wireless network backbone is used today for text messaging, paging from cellular phones and other purposes and is also likely to remain in use for a long time.
Networking Telegraph, Fax, Telephone, Radio, Print in the mid-1950s for business and social advances
Posted by JR Snyder Jr at 21:09
"I ran a business before I ran the business of the state of Montana. And I like running a business, not getting calls from somebody telling me I'm off to some place to do something else."