India’s first telegram ‘Taar’ was transmitted through electric signals between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour in 1850. The distance between both the cities was 50Km. Word ‘Telegram’ is made of two Greek words (tele: distant and gramma: letter). A written message is transmitted using an electric device and wires, and delivered via post. Telegram used to be a widely spread and effective mode of communication in the earlier days, but in the current hi-tech era of e-mails and sms, its use has been restricted to only some fields. People used to get anxious with the arrival of telegram, as it was used for urgent and important messages only. Most common telegrams used to be of information of deaths and births.
Back in old days, the Central Telegram Office was filled with the telegraph machines, which used Morse code as the mode of communication. The whole office used to sound like a factory where many of the operators used to be busy decoding or transmitting the message in Morse code. Decoding required a careful listening to sound the machine created and manually writing it down on a piece of paper.
Then came the Teleprinter model, which used paper tape to print the messages, which were then pasted manually on the post card and sent to the destination. After that the Teleprinter model with normal paper was in use for a long time. The recent telegraphic system used web based telegram service where the message was typed and then transmitted through Internet. An official toll free number “1585” was also introduced where a person can send his message through phone. For the official records, telegrams are considered to be important, as it is one of the documents accepted by the judiciary system of India.