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|Football Telegraph Operator Press Tickets: Michigan v. Cornell and Penn, 1911 to 1915.
Tickets for D. Burr Marsh - Telegraph Operator for Western Union and Postal Telegraph.
The Postal Telegraph & Cable Corporation was a major operator of telegraph networks
in the United States prior to its consolidation with Western Union. By 1893 the company’s
rate of growth had allowed it to become the only viable competitor to Western Union.
During the early 1900s Postal Telegraph, Western Union, and American Telephone and
Telegraph would run special telegraph lines to major sporting events so newspapers
could receive up-to-the-minute reports.
Telegraph Operators with an expert knowledge of the game could connect with the
circuits and report back results to cities across the country. For big games there would be
over 50 wires in commission. Banks of operators would set up in stands, each clattering
away at their keys. Cornell, and other schools, clubs and organizations would hire a
telegraph operator to receive real time reports for games. The returns would be shown
to large crowds gathering on campus on big “scoreboards” that displayed everything
that was occurring at the game.
Gophers. Both teams were undefeated and competing for the ‘Champion of the West’ Trophy…Floyd
‘Jack’ Mattice, an University of Michigan Law student, recognized the importance of this game. Jack,
who had experience as a telegraph operator, traveled to Minnesota to telegraph the play-by-play, of the
game, to the telegraph operators on campus. Taking turns, these telegraph operators would
decode…Jack’s messages and then announced the events of the game to the 5000 students seated in
University Hall. This event marked the first time that Michigan students could hear a football game
‘live’ as opposed to reading the events of the game the following day in the Michigan Daily. This
October 31, 1903 football game marked the beginnings of ‘sports broadcasting’ (Jack Mattice as the
first football broadcaster)…
|Football Game Telegraph Operators - 1913
|Cornell 34 - Michigan 7