Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » “I Take Up My Pen”: Marconigram, 1930

“I Take Up My Pen”: Marconigram, 1930

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 24, 2014

Today’s posts are going up out of order. Because that’s the kind of morning it is …

The Church sent and received a lot of telegrams, transoceanic cablegrams, and radiograms in the days when long distance telephone calls were expensive and the mail system was too slow. The form for this radiogram, received in Salt Lake City in 1930, feels especially romantic with its list of exotic locales served, including “ships at sea.”





  1. Imagine how “up to date” this must have seemed in 1930. Not relying on telegraph wires, Marconi sent messages by radio! I wonder how quaint the Internet will seem in 100 years!

    Long distance telephone calls were expensive, but they were also so noisy, filled with static and other interference, that communication was difficult. The bottom line on Marconigram form suggests that their wireless communications suffered from some of the same difficulties.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 24, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  2. Very interesting.

    How does one communicate from the ‘ships at sea’ these days? Do cruiselines, for instance, usually have some kind of built-in cell tower with a satellite uplink?

    I’m curious about the ‘repetition of doubtful words’ bit. What does it mean?

    Comment by Adam G. — February 24, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

  3. I assume it means that if a message didn’t make sense as delivered — probably due to misunderstanding a faint or staticky radio signal — you could ask to have the message re-transmitted. The company evidently wanted you to ask the company to straighten it out, rather than having you send a message to your friend on that ship-at-sea and asking him to repeat his message.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 24, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

  4. More than you ever wanted to know about cell service and internet access on cruise ships can be found here.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 24, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI