Vintage Sports
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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.

    On October 31, 1903, the University of Michigan Football Team traveled to Minnesota to play the
    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