Voices — Christine Collins, August 17, 1932


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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3 Responses to Voices — Christine Collins, August 17, 1932

  1. Jim says:

    Wow–no phone call. Just a stark telegram. Doesn’t even express empathy by saying, “I am sorry to inform you…”
    I would hope that we are more personal these days.
    I suppose in the depression there were many who did not have a telephone and telegrams were like faxes or e-mails are today. Still the cold tone is amazing.
    I cannot begin to imagine how devastated Christine must have been when she received this.


  2. Richard H says:

    The crossed out words appear to be “OTHERWISE BURIAL HERE.” and “AT ONCE.” (“AT ONCE” is an educated guess. I can make out the “A” and the “E” and guessed the words.)
    I agree. That is one coldly worded telegram. Crossing out certain words did soften it up slightly. I’m guessing adding words of condolence would have added to the expense of sending the message maybe. Must save the State of California money in any way possible. Particularly with regards to incarcerated inmates in the State prison system. Some things haven’t changed a bit since 1932.


  3. Jim says:

    I spoke with on old timer at church this morning who said that Western Union had a base charge and then charged by the word. So brief messages were the norm.


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