Now that we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, few people realize the important part played by the telegraph. It acted as the first means of communication between Eastern and Western Canada and helped keep our country together.
The first telegraph line in B.C. came up from San Francisco. Governor James Douglas was afraid the Americans were going to take over B.C., so he pressured the British to build a telegraph and railway line across Canada, which initially terminated at Port Moody.
The telegraph has been rated among the top ten inventions of mankind, yet I was asked by a teenager if this was a new type of rap music. Another young lad wouldn’t believe me when I told him that people once communicated by Morse code.
It’s quite obvious that the history of the telegraph and how it changed our country’s method of communication is no longer taught in schools.
It looks like this important part of our Canadian history will be lost forever.