Postal Telegraph Company

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1921 Advertisement for the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company

Postal Telegraph Company (Postal Telegraph & Cable Corporation) was a major operator of telegraph networks in the United States prior to its consolidation with Western Union in 1943.[1] Postal partnered with Commercial Cable Company for overseas cable messaging.

Postal was founded in the decade of the 1880s by John William Mackay, an entrepreneur who had made a fortune in silver mining in the Comstock Lode. Mackay's original purpose was to provide a domestic wire network to directly link with the Atlantic Cable. Mackay built the Postal network by the purchase of existing firms that were insolvent. The company was initially called The Pacific Postal Telegraph Cable Co.[2] Under president Albert Brown Chandler, the Postal network was able to achieve sufficient economy of scale to compete with Western Union, occasionally controlling as much as 20% of the business.[1]

A child employee of the Postal Tel. Co. wearing a Summer Uniform in New York City, ca. 1912

By 1893, the company's rate of growth had allowed it to become the only viable competitor to Western Union. It had grown so large, that management had to move out of the company's New York City headquarters to make room for more operations staff. Chandler oversaw the design and construction of a new headquarters at Broadway and Murray Street.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nonnenmacher, Tomas. History of the U.S. Telegraph Industry
  2. ^ Pacific Postal Telegraph Cable Company San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser, February 19, 1887.
  3. ^ "New York Times - new building for Pastal Telegraph-Cable Company". The New York Times. 1893-10-29. p. 21. Retrieved 2017-05-04 – via open access.

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