A Telegram was a fast way to send a message. To send a telegram, a person would visit a telegraph office where a telegraph operator would type out the message. Messages were short as the operator charged per line. The receiving office would then hand deliver the telegram to the addressee.

Learn more about Telegrams through a Grandparent's memories below.

(Did you grow up in the 1930's?  Send us your memories of Telegrams and help build the library.)

~ Ray (b. 1932) ~

"Our family was poor, and at age 16 I was seeking a summer job.  My father worked at Western Union, and arranged a summer job for me at what then was a very good salary.

My job entailed taking a group of 20-30 telegrams from a counter and walking about 40 yards to another counter where I sorted the telegrams and placed them into various cubbyholes depending of the telegram’s eventual destination.  The problem that I encountered was that there was a very large clock above each of the two counters. Assuming that the round trip between the two counters took about 3-4 minutes, this translates into 15-20 round trips per hour, which means that I probably looked at the large clocks 120-240 times during each 8 hour day.  Although I attempted to look at the floor to avoid seeing the clocks, it was impossible. Each 8 hour day seemed like an eternity. I lasted 10 days and quit."

Did you grow up in the 1930's, 1940's or 1950's? Do you know someone who did?

Our Grandparents Stories is a library of memories of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. Help preserve history for younger generations to know by sharing your memories to add to the site.  Or record a memory recalled by a grandparent or senior.  Stories can be in writing or on video or audio recording.

To learn more about Our Grandparents Stories, visit the 'Share a Story' or 'About' page. Or contact us directly at

Our Grandparents Stories

A Library of Memories

~ Telegrams ~

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