Thursday, February 02, 2006

End of the Telegraph Era

[Annoucement of the] ... cancellation, as of January 27, 2006, of all telegraphic services by Western Union.

... American railroad involvement with the telegraph, as we know, began in 1844. Seemingly, at one time, virtually everywhere the railroad went, those telltale poles and wires followed it.

Evidently the earliest ancestor of Western Union dates from 1851, and it rose with the railroad industry. ... the railroad industry was already twenty-odd years old when this predecessor telegraphic company was born ...

—John Decker

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]


From: "J. Williams"

From the mid-1800s to the end of the century, old newspapers of the period report that locomotives periodically collided with wildlife and that occasionally, if the animal were large enough, the impact resulted in derailment.

My question is: Was the train's crew equipped to repair the track on site and get the train running themselves (provided neither the locomotive nor any of the cars were overturned) or did they always have to wait for a separate crew to arrive with heavy equipment and special skills?


Jon Williams
Wasatch Mountains, Utah