01 July 2013



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Telegraph Service in India will end  on 15th July. Mr Sudhir Jain of Satna (MP) shares here old telegram receipt from his collection with the readers…

One old Telegram receipt with Victoria stamp

- Sudhir Jain.

Here is one very old Telegram receipt from my Pre-independence Stationery collection. This is printed on both side. 

Front side -


Telegram booked at Mandvie Telegraph Office on 2-12-1890 for Delhi. Class - D (Deferred). Charge - 8 Annas. Telegram No. - 400. Signed by the Postmaster but date stamp was not affixed.


Back side -


Rates are printed with an important note - "The ACCURACY of messages is not guaranteed, the sender must accept ALL RISKS arising from non-delivery , errors or delays".

From our Readers…

Farewell to Telegram..

Dear Madam

this July edition of Rainbow on TELEGRAM is the most interesting  edition of your bulletins. Your comments and  writings  from your readers/contributors on this subject of Telegrams  makes me feel nostalgic and   somewhat sad too  because  I retired from Telegraph department in 1987 after 36 years of handling Telegrams  sending and receiving on Morse,transmitting on Teleprinters,Telex etc  Must have handled several thousands of telegrams  Verses written by one of your important contributors on Telegrams is particularly   is simply wonderful and makes me remember all the years working in Telegraph offices  in Delhi.    Thanks again.

In case any special cover is issued anywhere in India to  bid  'farewell' to  telegram is issued i will be glad to  have  such covers,on payment of  course  I have saved many  Telegrams , unused forms also  from India and other countries .   I will be happy to receive  telegrams from any of your readers on 14 or 15th July 2013.  Will reimburse costs please


 Ranjit Singh

AN/18-c, Shalimar Bagh,  Delhi-110088

Ph 011-27472189


Advent of Telegraphy…

Telegraphy (from Greek: tele "at a distance", and graphein  "to write") is the long-distance transmission of messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message.

Before long distance telephone services were readily available or affordable, telegram services were very popular and the only way to convey information speedily over very long distances. Telegrams were often used to confirm business dealings and were commonly used to create binding legal documents for business dealings. In addition to full-rate telegrams which were transmitted immediately, most telegraph companies offered reduced-rate telegrams with delayed delivery: day letters (delayed delivery the same day) and night letters (delivery the following morning).

A wire picture or wire photo was a newspaper picture that was sent from a remote location by a facsimile telegraph. The teleostereograph machine, a forerunner to the modern electronic fax, was developed by AT&T's Bell Labs in the 1920s. However, the first commercial use of image facsimile telegraph devices dates back to the time of Samuel F. B. Morse's invention in the 1800s. Morse and his partner Alfred Vail also invented morse code.

A diplomatic telegram, also known as a diplomatic cable, is the term given to a confidential communication between a diplomatic mission and the foreign ministry of its parent country.These continue to be called telegrams or cables regardless of the method used for transmission.

Morse telegraph

An electrical telegraph was independently developed and patented in the United States in 1837 by Samuel Morse. His assistant, Alfred Vail, developed the Morse code signaling  alphabet with Morse. The first telegram in the United States was sent by Morse on 11 January 1838, across two miles (3 km) of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey. On 24 May 1844, he sent the message "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT” from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol in Washington to the old Mt. Clare Depot in Baltimore. This message (quoting Numbers 23:23) was chosen by Annie Ellsworth of Lafayette, Indiana, the daughter of Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth. The message was all capital letters because the original Morse code alphabet had no question mark or lower case.


The Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the following two decades; the overland telegraph connected the west coast of the continent to the east coast by 24 October 1861, bringing an end to the Pony Express.

First Telegraph Act for India, 1854

The first Telegraph Act for India was the British Parliament's Act XXXIV of 1854. When a public telegram service was begun in 1855, the charge was fixed at one rupee for each sixteen words (including the address) for every 400 miles of transmission. Charges were doubled for telegrams sent between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; these rates would remain fixed until 1882. In 1860–61 (two years after the end of Company rule), India had 11,093 miles (17,852 km) miles of telegraph lines and 145 telegraph offices. Telegrams totaling Rs. 5 lakh in value were sent by the public, expenses of the Indian Telegraph Department were Rs. 14 lakh and the capital expenditure until the end of the year totaled Rs. 65 lakh.


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