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Western Union sends its last telegram
Company halts renowned international communication service after 145 years.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Western Union sent its final telegram message last Friday after 145 years of transcontinental -- and international -- communication.

The telegram section of the company's web site says, "Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage."

The company was founded to provide far-ranging message services, and created the first transcontinental message service in the United States in 1861 which was used to send coast-to-coast messages during the Civil War.

The company -- now "Western Union Holdings" -- was once known as "Western Union Telegraph Company."

Now primarily a financial services provider, Western Union specializes in electronic money transfers, e-mail and fax services with more than 100,000 locations worldwide.


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