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Kiddiegram messages

Kiddiegram message form
Audio

"Alphabet"
From "The International Morse Code"
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Western Union's Kiddiegram
1937

"Today everyone can telegraph"
Little Bo Peep, Humpty Dumpty, and other fairytale characters adorn these 1937 Western Union telegrams designed especially for children. Senders had the option of either writing their own message to a child or selecting one from the company's lists. The company messages came in several categories, such as "in praise of good behavior," "for birthdays," "cheer up messages," "admonitions to behave," and "invitations to parties." Message #1401, for example, reads, "So you are getting better--that is just simply great--when you are well again--won't we celebrate!" And message #1394, "Brush your teeth, comb your hair, hurry to bed, say your prayer, and before you know it I will be there."

Notes
Local rate, 20 cents; everywhere else, 25 cents
Web display only

Learn more!
· Kiddiegram Messages
· History of the Telegraph
· Collections on Invention and Innovation in the NMAH Archives Center
· "Alphabet," From "The International Morse Code"

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