old telegram card

The History Of Singing Telegrams

old telegram card

Singing telegrams are a unique way to send someone you care about a fun message. While they are now used to celebrate big milestones and birthdays, their origin in telegrams used to be more somber! 

When did this change happen? How did we go from telegrams to singing telegrams? Find out more below!

What Is A Telegram?

A telegram was how people were able to communicate vital information fast. Quicker than mail, and even still used in the age of the telephone, they were quite popular! It is estimated that at their peak in 1929, 200 million telegrams were sent!

Fun Fact: Code names began being used to combat messages going to the wrong people! The codenames were paid for yearly: $2.50 per codename per year. In today’s economy, that’s $42 per codename!

Singing Telegrams

There are differing accounts on what company sent the first telegram, but to sum the main accounts up: In 1933, the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company delivered the first singing telegraph; however, they soon merged with Western Union- which is why some say that Western Union sent the first singing telegram.

The story goes that a fan sent Hollywood singing star Rudy Vallee a birthday telegram. Sensing that this could be just the thing to turn telegrams from omens to a joy, PR director George Oslin asked operator Lucille Lipps to sing the message over telephone to the star. Thus began singing telegrams!

Singing telegrams continued by Western Union until 1974, when they suspended offering them. However, many others have picked up and begun to offer them, continuing the tradition!

You may be asking, “What’s the big deal?”. Well, we will tell you!

Because telegrams were the fastest and preferred way to send information, they became associated with bad news, death, and tragedy. By beginning a more positive, light, and even silly association, the country began to see more singing telegrams, and more joy!

Modern Day Uses

In modern times, it seems as though the art of the singing telegram has become lost. People are in ever-constant contact- and can easily send a video singing happy birthday or expressing well wishes.

But singing telegrams are a dying art form, and few companies still carry the torch. Singing telegrams are one of the few forms of entertainment that is thoughtful and delightfully embarrassing for the recipient! It is eye-catching, attention-drawing, and good-natured fun.

There is something special about sending someone in your life a singing telegram. Which you may have gathered from reading this blog, which may leave you wondering…

Where Can I Sign up?

Well, if you are in the San Antonio area, you are in luck! All Things Balloon is the only company in the San Antonio area that provides Singing Telegrams!

We have been providing the San Antonio area with entertainment and dazzling décor since Balloonamations became All Things Balloon in 2012. We put immense effort and pride into our singing telegrams (with costumes!), our balloon art, decorations, and face painting. We know you will love any of our services.

To book any of our services or to ask any questions, visit us online or call us at 210-734-9860!

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