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Telegram vs. Cablegram: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 27, 2023
A telegram is a message sent via telegraph, while a cablegram is a telegram transmitted through underwater cables, often international.

Key Differences

A telegram is transmitted via telegraph lines, often over land. Cablegrams, however, are specifically sent through underwater cables, typically for international communication.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
Telegrams were a primary form of long-distance communication before the advent of telephones and the internet. Cablegrams gained prominence for overseas communication, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
Telegrams were used for various purposes, both personal and business, within a country or across borders. Cablegrams were particularly significant for international communication, especially when transoceanic cables were the only means of quick overseas messaging.
Huma Saeed
Dec 27, 2023
Telegrams were generally more accessible and affordable for the general public. Cablegrams, due to the cost of laying and maintaining underwater cables, were often more expensive.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023
Both telegram and cablegram technologies have largely been replaced by modern digital communication, but they were crucial in the development of global communication networks.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Transmission Medium

Telegraph lines, often over land
Underwater cables, typically for international routes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Historical Usage

Widespread for various communications
Primarily for international messages
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Cost

Generally more affordable
More expensive due to underwater cable infrastructure
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Technological Significance

Pioneered electronic communication
Key in connecting continents for communication
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Modern Relevance

Largely obsolete but foundational
Also largely obsolete but vital in history of global connectivity
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
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Telegram and Cablegram Definitions

Telegram

A message sent by telegraph and then delivered in written or printed form.
He received a telegram announcing the birth of his niece.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Cablegram

A telegram sent by a submarine telegraph cable.
The ambassador received a cablegram with instructions from the foreign ministry.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

A short, concise message.
The CEO issued a telegram to all employees about the meeting.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Cablegram

A historical method of long-distance communication.
Transatlantic news in the 1900s often arrived by cablegram.
Huma Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

To send a message by telegraph.
I'll telegram the details to you by noon.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Cablegram

A secure way of sending confidential information overseas.
Military commands were often sent via cablegram during wartime.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

A message transmitted by telegraph.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

A message transmitted through undersea cables, often internationally.
A cablegram was the fastest way to send news across the ocean.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

To telegraph (something) or be telegraphed.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

An early form of global electronic communication.
The company’s overseas offices communicated via cablegram.
Harlon Moss
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

A message transmitted by telegraph.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

A telegram sent by submarine cable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

(intransitive) To send a telegram.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

A telegram transmitted via a submarine cable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

(transitive) To send a telegram to (a person).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

(rare) To communicate by cablegram.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

(transitive) To send (a message) in a telegram.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

A message sent by a submarine telegraphic cable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

A message sent by telegraph; a telegraphic dispatch.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cablegram

A telegram sent abroad
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

A message transmitted by telegraph
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Telegram

A system of sending messages by telegraph.
They communicated important news via telegram during the war.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Telegram

A dated form of communication using Morse code.
The old telegram used Morse code for its message.
Harlon Moss
Dec 07, 2023

FAQs

Were cablegrams used for domestic messaging?

Rarely, they were mainly for international communication.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

What was the primary use of a telegram?

For quick communication over long distances before phones.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

How fast were telegrams delivered?

Quite fast for the era, often within the same day.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Why were cablegrams significant?

They connected continents for fast communication.
Huma Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

Did telegrams have a word limit?

Yes, messages were concise due to cost per word.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Can telegrams still be sent today?

They're largely obsolete, replaced by modern digital communication.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Why were cablegrams expensive?

Due to the cost of laying and maintaining underwater cables.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Did cablegrams help in wars?

Yes, for secure, long-distance military communication.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Could individuals send telegrams?

Yes, it was common for personal and business use.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

What replaced telegrams and cablegrams?

Digital communication like email and instant messaging.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Were cablegrams secure?

Relatively, but they could be intercepted.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

How did cablegrams affect global news?

They significantly sped up international news delivery.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

What made cablegrams unique in communication?

Their ability to connect distant continents quickly.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

How were telegrams delivered to recipients?

Usually hand-delivered in written or printed form.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Did cablegrams contribute to globalization?

Yes, they were pivotal in early global connectivity.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Did the public widely use telegrams?

Yes, they were a popular form of communication.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Could cablegrams be sent between any two countries?

Only if connected by submarine cables.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Were telegrams common in business?

Yes, for quick and efficient business communication.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Were cablegrams affected by natural disasters?

Yes, undersea cables could be damaged by earthquakes or similar events.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Were telegrams used in emergencies?

Yes, often for urgent or important news.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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