ARRIVING JANUARY 2021
We are proud to be able to offer our very own unique telegram service, remedying one of life's little miseries in the process by handwriting it on your behalf in traditional calligraphy. While researching European pneumatic systems and telegram designs, we fell in love with the long forgotten Petit Bleu and adopted it's design for Pigeon Paper Co.'s Telegram Service.
The novelty of receiving a handwritten telegram by mail will never lose it's endearing charm, and finding unique ways to connect to loved ones across the world has never been more apparent or necessary. In these times, what could be more joyful than finding a handwritten letter falling out a stack of junk mail and bills?
The development of our telegram service began with a decades' long and rich tradition of sending unique and surprising mail through postal couriers among our closest friends and family across the globe, each trying to outperform the other. Some of the more unique instances involved plastic carrier pigeons with mail taped to their backs, elegant telegrams written in fine calligraphy with clever messages and inside jokes, even a potato with nothing but the address written and stamped directly on it!
The advent of the Industrial Revolution through the invention of the steam engine and the discovery of electricity marked the transformation of Western Civilization, and indeed, the pathways that would lead to services we enjoy today. Through it, manufacturing, transportation, communication and banking had never been faster or more efficient. Stock exchanges depended on faster communications and fortunes could be made by those who were the first to receive crucial information.
The 19th century was a period of gloriously inventive technology and it became an age of exploration into pneumatic systems and compressed air. George Medhurst, an Englishman, experimented with pneumatic transport, and in 1810 invented the pneumatic railway while a Scot, William Murdoch, is credited with inventing the pneumatic dispatch tube. The system used positive air pressure to push a capsule several inches in diameter along a tube.
This technology came into widespread and practical use first in London in 1853, followed by Berlin in 1865, and Paris in 1866, allowing intercity messages to be sent and received within 1-2 hours. The pneumatic postage systems were used well into the 20th century, even until 2002 in Prague. Historians and hobby enthusiasts aside, these fascinating systems have all but faded from memory.
Around 1840, another growing form of communication allowed messages to cross oceans faster than a handwritten letter. Electric telegraphy was the very first text messaging system, used from the 1840s until the mid 20th century when it was slowly replaced by the growing demand and usage of the telephone. It used coded pulses of electric current through dedicated wires to transmit information over long distances.
These two systems brought about one of the more forgotten but nevertheless quaint and charming facets of 19th century Paris. 'Le Petit Bleu' was it's name, and it took on the form of a small pastel blue folded letter. Cheaper than a regular telegraph, this little blue envelope was charged by weight rather than character quantity, as was the norm for telegraph messages back in the day.
Today, telegrams are no longer used, but the novelty of receiving a handwritten telegram by mail will never lose it's charm. When researching different pneumatic systems and telegram designs, we fell in love with the forgotten Petit Bleu.