The world’s last telegram message will be sent somewhere in India on July 14. That missive will come 144 years after Samuel Morse sent the first telegram in Washington, and seven years after Western Union shuttered its services in the United States. In India, telegraph services were introduced by William O’Shaughnessy, a British doctor and inventor who used a different code for the first time in 1850 to send a message.
The BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, India’s state-owned telecom company) board, after dilly-dallying for two years, decided to shut down the service as it was no longer commercially viable. “We were incurring losses of over $23 million a year because SMS and smartphones have rendered this service redundant,” Shamim Akhtar, general manager of BSNL’s telegraph services, told the Monitor.