Western Union Messengers on Bicycles, Seattle, 1937
Before long-distance telephones, fax machines and the internet became so widespread in the late 20th century, the quickest way to send a message was by telegraph. Messages came in by wire to the local Western Union telegraph office, and uniformed messengers delivered written or printed copies to homes and businesses. In Seattle and other cities, Western Union messengers generally delivered telegrams by bicycle.
This 1937 photo shows six Western Union messengers and their bicycles in downtown Seattle. They are standing on the sidewalk in front of the telegraph office at 113 Cherry Street. The messengers are Tom Chaffee, Abbott Van Hise, William Riley, Ralph Weller, Everett Olds, and Charles Biggs.
Photographer: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Staff Photographer
Image Date: 1937
Image Number: PI21632
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