The End of an Era: The End of Indian Telegram Era

The End of an Era: The End of Indian Telegram Era

July 14, 2013: The Last Day of Indian Telegram Service.

Same day 7 years ago, Ashwani Mishra sent a Telegram to the then Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi, which will forever be known as “the Last Telegram of India.”

The telegram was not just a mode of communication; Our Parents have a special place for the same in their memories. Telegram had successfully connected India in True sense for nearly a century and a half.

Here are some Facts about Telegram:

Facts & figures:

  • 1794: Claude Chappe invented the non-electric Telegraph.
  • 1809: Samuel Soemmering invented the first electrical Telegraph in Bavaria.
  • 1825: William Sturgeon invented electromagnet.
  • 1828: Harrison Dyar invented the first Telegraph in the USA. He sent electrical sparks through the chemically treated paper tape to burn dots and dashes.
  • 1830: The potential of William Sturgeon’s electromagnet was demonstrated by Joseph Henry. He used Telegraph for long-distance communication by sending an electronic current over one mile of wire to activate an electromagnet which caused a bell to strike.
  • 1837: Samuel F. B. Morse and his assistant Alfred Vail successfully exploited the electromagnet and bettered Joseph Henry’s invention and created the Morse Code, which sent signals in Morse to produce written codes on a strip of paper which was known as Morse Code and that were translated into alphabetic letters.
  • 1900: Frederick G. Creed, devised a machine that could punch holes in a paper telegraph tape direct from a typewriter-style keyboard.
  • 1932: the UK was the first country to set up a service Telex Service.
Indian Telegraph Centenary, souvenir, sheet
Postal stamps
telegraph postage, indian postage
Indo-european telegraph postage
Fact’s about Telegram in India:
  • 1850: The first experimental electric telegraph line was started between Calcutta and Diamond Harbor. The first telegraph line was opened in October 1851 in India between Calcutta and Diamond Harbor, a distance of 30 miles (48 km.). But the official inauguration of this line took place on November 1, 1851. By 1854, Calcutta was linked with Agra, Bombay, and Madras by the telegraph network.
  • 1851: It was opened for the use of the British East India Company
  • 1854: A separate department was opened for telegraph facilities.
  • 1885: The Indian Telegraph Act was introduced in India
  • 1902: India drastically changed from cable telegraph to wireless Telegraph.
  • 1914: On April 1, 1914, Post Office and Telegraph departments were merged, and Indian Posts and Telegraph Department was formed.
  • 1949: India introduced Hindi script telegrams.
  • 1985: From January 1, 1985, Post Offices were separated from Telegraph, and the department was bifurcated into to Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications.
  • 2000: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) was established by the Government of India, which provides a wide range of telecommunication services, including Telegrams.
  • 2010: In order to keep pace with technological developments, BSNL introduced a Web-Based Telegraph Messaging System in India by March 31, 2010. The WTMS changed the way of sending telegrams through computers.
  • 2010: Realizing the declining usage of Telegraph Services, the Establishment branch of BSNL Corporate Office defined Telegraph Services as diminishing services vide the circular No. 19-1/2009/TE-II dated 19-02-2010.
  • 2011: The international telegraph service was terminated by BSNL on April 30, 2011.
  • 2013: BSNL decided to discontinue the Telegram Service and issued circular on 11.06.2013. It was also requested to all telegraph offices to take a photograph of booking of five telegrams message with the sender of telegrams and all the staff working on WMTS on 14.07.2103 i.e., last working day of telegrams and to keep a record of such photographs in an album and to send one set of such photographs to Sr. GM. Office.
  • 2013: With effect from July 13, 2013, 162 years old telegraph service discontinued in India
Farewell to telegraph service:

Indian citizens paid tribute to 162-year-old telegram service of India in different ways. Several people sent the last telegraphic message of the era in the previous few days before the closure of telegraphic service in India.

Also Read: Genichi Mitsuhashi, the only man who holds a Master’s Degree in Ninja Studies

In Vadodara, students of two schools viz. Urmi School and Gujarat Public School attempted to create history before one of the world’s oldest communication services – the telegram – itself becomes history in India, by sending more than 5,000 telegrams in the last 3-4 days. In doing this, the students, while paying homage to the telegram in its last days, we’re also trying to create a Guinness World Record. 

Bharat sanchar Nigam limited, telegram cash receipt
Pic: The Last Telegram Receipt.

Leave a comment