There is a lovely project running just now and if you have any old telegrams then you might think of taking them along to The National Museum of Scotland which is inviting people to bring their telegrams to the Museum this Saturday to be scanned as part of a UK-wide project which is being coordinated by the Science Museum in London. That way they can be preserved for posterity!

People used to send telegrams to wedding receptions, so lots of folk in Edinburgh might have them in a shoebox in the attic.

Curators are particularly interested in those telegrams which have an interesting story behind them. The topic of the telegram can be anything from national, international or local events to personal and family events, and they can be from any time from the Victorian age when the technology was new, until the 1980s when the service was withdrawn in Britain.

Telegrams were the instant messaging of their day, containing short direct messages which were quicker than conventional mail and were especially popular until telephones became widely available, reliable and economical. India’s 160 year-old telegram service was discontinued only yesterday.

People can take their telegrams in to the curators from 10am-5pm on Saturday 20 July 2013 at the Learning Centre of the National Museum of Scotland.

Our main photo shows a telegram sent to the Lionel Blair girls at Birmingham Hippodrome in 1973.

Telegram drama: a message delaying a museum visit to the Wanlockhead Lead Mining Company due to an accident in their mining shaft, also in 1924.