"I must telegraph at once to your father in Paris"
Telegram from S.A, Andrée to Alfred Nobel (1896)
Public DomainTelegram from S.A, Andrée to Alfred Nobel (1896) - Credit: S.A. Andrée

To telegraph means to send a telegram. A telegram is a message sent by electric signal from one place to another.  In the past, telegrams were used for urgent messages as they could be sent and delivered very quickly.

Sending telegrams was made possible by work done in the first half of the 19th century on a system known as the electric telegraph. The signals sent could be translated into words. Early work on developing electric telegraph systems was done by many individuals, including Samuel Morse in America and Baron Paul Schilling von Constatt in Russia. The first telegram was sent by Samuel Morse in 1844.

Telegrams are still sent in a large number of countries. In some of these countries, they continue to be used to carry serious and urgent messages; in others, telegrams are seen as an amusing way of sending messages such as birthday greetings or invitations.

The telegram pictured is written in Swedish. It was sent to Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, in 1896.