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Teleprinters
1934 saw the first "Creed" teleprinter service between the Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane and the Bulletin newspaper in Rockhampton. A teleprinter is much the same as an electric typewriter but can work on signals from a paper tape simailar to the Murray system but no distributor is needed as there is just one machine at each end of the line.
Thus by typing  a message on their keyboard the other newspaper had an immediate copy of what was typed and in fact an operator at the receiving end could type back immediately if the need arose. The use of teleprinters was also introduced between certain Post Offices and the GPO depending on the volume of traffic.

With the threat of Japanese invasion during world war 2 and the entry into the conflict by the US armed forces and their being stationed mostly in Queensland there was an enormous increase in telegram traffic, not just vital war messages  but also telegrams sent by the soldiers themselves to families and friends.

The Americans came well equipped and brought with them a good supply of their teleprinters, namely the Model 15 Teletype. These were installed to help speed the flow of telegram traffic where required and continued to work side by side with the British Creed machines for approximately 30 years.

Why did telegrams disappear in the late 1980's? There were a number of factors. Even into the 1960's many homes did not have a telephone, so the telegram was generally the only way to contact someone urgently. Until STD (dial it yourself) long distance phone calls were introduced during the same decade long distance calls were expensive and often a line was not available until hours later and the call was sometimes restricted in  length to allow other callers to get through. A telegram was thus often quicker and for a short message cheaper than a trunk phone call.

With many more homes having phones in the 70's and 80's demand for telegrams declined. Prices went up causing further decline and so ended almost 130 years of a service which was so very vital for nearly all its life.

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