Firm Date for Last N&W Telegraph: 3-16-1960

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Sat Dec 3 14:27:19 EST 2011

Cleaning out the basement has produced some treasures! One was a small typewritten note from Harry C. Clark, who taught me telegraphy.

Harry had learned telegraphy at the Dodge Telegraph School in Valparaiso, in 1920. Thereafter he telegraphed for a total of 16 different companies (railroads, Western Union, brokerages, and even a shoe company!) all over the West, and even in Mexico. In the 1940s he came home to West Virginia and "settled down" to a job on the N&W (at one time holding the Agent's job at Roderfield.) Like many men with good telegraph skills, he "bid into" GM Telegraph Office ("GM" for "General Manager's") in General Office Building at Roanoke, because it was clean, regular and good paying work. He retired in the late 1960s.

In the mid-1970s, I asked Harry if he knew the date the last telegraph circuit was discontinued on the N&W. He responded, "Not exactly, but I can get it for you from the man who was Manager of GM at that time... he made notes on everything." I wish I could recall the name of that fellow whom Harry consulted, but the years have taken it from me! Anyway, the next time I saw Harry, he handed me a small piece of paper on which had been typed these words, by the man who had been Manager of GM:

"Last telegraph wire in Roanoke
on N&W Ry., GM Office, was discontinued
March 16, 1960.
This wire was known to Operators in GM
as the Cincinnati circuit. Business was
handled between:
GM N&W Ry Roanoke
PD NYC Cincinnati
SG B&O Cincinnati
GC CUT Cincinnati Union Terminal"

-- abram burnett
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