28 February 2016
15 February 2016
Most of us are familiar with/remember using Western Union to send money by wire, or using FTD to deliver flowers remotely. In its heyday, the telegraph system was used for sending just about anything to a distant city.
In addition to the regular money order service, the telegraph companies maintain what is known as a telegraphic shopping service. As now organized, this service permits of the purchase by telegraph of any standardized article from a locomotive to a paper or pins.
There was even an early 20th-century analog of DNS:
In the case of domestic telegrams the address and signature is transmitted free of charge, the only part of the message paid for being the body. In the case of cablegrams and radiograms, however, all words are charged for, including address and signature, with the exception that the name of the country of destination is transmitted free. In the interest of economy to the customer, cable companies permit the registering of a code address, so that it is unnecessary to transmit long addresses. Thus a message addressed "WUTRAVBURO LONDON," would be delivered to The Western Union Travelers' Bureau, 22 Great Winchester Street, London, England. There is a nominal annual charge for this registration privilege, the amount being so small as to be more than offset by the saving on a few cablegrams or radiograms.