Definition Edit

A Mailgram is

a type of telegraphic message which is transmitted electronically from the sender to a post office and then printed and delivered to the recipient via postal means.

Overview Edit

Initially proposed in 1968, it was first offered to the public in 1970 as a joint offering by the Postal Service and Western Union.

The customer inputs his message by either telephoning Western Union, supplying it magnetic tapes or discs, or by using his own Telex/TWX equipment. The cost is $1 to $2.80 for a message of 50 words or less. Western Union processes and transmits the message to a postal installation for next business day delivery. Western Union is responsible for accepting, processing, and transmitting the message while the Service is responsible for printing, enveloping, and delivering the output.[1]

The advantage of a Mailgram over postal mail was speed and verifiability of transmission; they were widely used in official notifications and legal transactions. Their advantage over full-rate telegrams was lower cost while still maintaining the look and feel of an important Western Union Telegram. The Mailgram quickly became a widely-used medium for business-to-consumer communications.

Although iTelegram still provides a mailgram service in the United States, Western Union discontinued all telegram messaging, including Mailgram, in 2006.

References Edit

  1. Implications of Electronic Mail for the Postal Service's Work Force, at 2.

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