NW-Mailing-List Digest, Vol 44, Issue 27

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jun 22 19:50:32 EDT 2009

I, too have heard the year "1958" when associated with the N&W, the
Shenandoah Division and the demise of the telegraph. Other railroads
undoubtedly ended the practice at different times including the Frisco
quote for 1957, however, didn't a number of "old heads" on the B&O
keep a section active well into the 1980's for their local use out in
the Sand Patch area? I have heard many references to this one and that
it only ended when a derailment took out the wire. Southern's
Washington Division ended the practice on the mainline by or before
about 1960.

Bob Cohen

Mike Weeks asks: "When did N&W stop using telegraphs?"


> That is a good question, Mike, for which I haven't seen definitive dates.  It seems to have been around 1958 and may have varied by division.  Telegraphy was supplanted by telephone usage for train dispatching prior to that year  --again, exact dates by division are unknown.


> Good evening,


> Frank Scheer

> f_scheer at yahoo.com

> I haven't seen or found anything yet on the N&W system, but noted the

> following:


> "..................................


> The complimentary close following a transaction on the wire was '"73," a

> symbol of fraternity. In 1967 a final '73 was transmitted across the

> Frisco system, and with that, telegraphy was discontinued on the Frisco,

> 123 years after Samual Morse's 1844 message. Through the 1950's and

> 1960's, technological innovations in radio, telephone, and computer

> combined to make Morse's message seem overly dramatic. But to those of

> us who were the eyes and ears of the railroads, we were, like Mercury,

> messengers for thundering giants."


> from

> The Railroad Telegrapher

> by Jim Thompson


> http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/periodicals/ozarkswatch/ow702h.htm


> Dominic

> London

> --

> Please help me support the Pirate Castle at

> http://www.justgiving.com/dominicpinto



> ------------------------------


> Message: 6

> Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 06:34:25 +0100

> From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

> Subject: Re: N&W telegraphy

> To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

> Message-ID: <4A3F17E1.2020905 at ieee.org>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


> Some early office interior photos here include telegraph and Norfolk and

> Western, but frustratingly NOT in the same photo --- but may still be of

> interest:


> Early Office Museum

> *Historical Office Interior Photographs

> ~ 1895-1899 ~*


> http://www.officemuseum.com/photo_gallery_1890s_ii.htm


> Dominic

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