Thursday, December 6, 2018

Merry Christmas Adele. STOP

I have no idea who "Adele" was, but I'm assuming she was employed by Western Union and perhaps received this as a gag.

Western Union offered specially-themed telegrams at Christmastime. Here are some example throughout the years.

1912. "Beautiful present came safely surprise and happiness complete Merry Christmas". You can't ask for anything more.

1913. Dr. William Gorgas was responsible for eliminating "yellow fever" and malaria during the construction of the Panama Canal.  He did become the U.S. Surgeon General in 1914.

1917. C. H. Roberts, Jr. sounds like a real go-getter; in charge of 3 patrol boats AND Flight Commander.



 Not all telegrams were dated.  Given the content, I would place this during WWII.

Another undated telegram.  This one to Bunny Lungo courtesty of WIL, a local St. Louis broadcasting station.  This telegram would have been delivered to the right door.

3906A Wyoming Ave, St. Louis, MO

**Update** I misread the date on this one in my original post.  According to commenter Gary, Pat Neff was railroad commissioner from 1929 to 1933.  And rather than an employee, this was sent as Christmas greetings to a customer.

It's a little hard to read the date on this one, but it looks like 1954.  I hope things worked out for Gene and Zelma.

It's interesting that Mother Mary Joseph chose a secular telegram to send to Mother Mary Columba.

I was going to guess this was 1950 based on the code in the upper left, but Radio station WEAF became WNBC in 1946.

Some ads promoting the use of Western Union for Christmas greetings.

Form to send a "Santa Gram" to children.

A couple examples, although I don't see the body of these telegrams offered in the order form above, however, space was provided for a personal message.

Western Union eliminated telegrams in 2006.


  1. i love the one that says essentially, "baby, i got leave early, i'm coming home for christmas, make wedding plans!" -- it's like a scene from a movie.

  2. "Telegrams are always bad news" according to every sitcom before 1980.

  3. Love the artwork on the tops of these. When I got married, the His Lordships British Family sent telegrams to our US wedding as is the custom.

  4. Pat M. Neff was Texas Railroad Commissioner from 29-33, so that telegram must date to back then or it wouldn't make much sense.
    (I'm in Austin, Neff is one of those names you see on buildings etc. here
    and there).
    These are all very cool.

    1. Thanks, Gary. Guess I wasn't decoding those telegrams correctly.


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