Madrid Around 1910

Postcards courtesy of Michelle Mock

Madrid, 1910

Have my letter started and will finish it this P.M.  Doesn’t this look like "one of Europe’s greatest capitals?"


People still send postcards when they go on vacation, but the art of creating a handwritten letter is almost as extinct as the telegraph.  The telegraph was used to send morse code messages in the form of telegrams.  Until 1914, these messages had to be transcribed by hand by the telegraph operator.  The teletypewriter automated the process by printing the message on thin paper tape that the telegraph operator would paste into a special envelope for hand delivery to the recipient.

I remember sending and receiving a few of those telegrams during the 1960s when I was living in Spain.  We had telephone service in Spain, but for many, unlike in the United States at that time, having a phone in the home was quite expensive.  Many would go to the local telefónica to place a call or send a telegram.  Telegrams were less expensive, as long as you had a short message.  Often, a telegram was used to send bad news... like when someone had died.


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