The Economy category is our largest collection and consists of 2,196 telegrams. It contains messages that pertain to economic life in Greece from 1859 to 1980. As would be expected, most of the telegrams have to do with commercial transactions. Besides, trade and financial activities were the foremost reasons behind the global spread of telegraphy, as the speed of telegrams served the needs of merchants for fast and timely information. It is no accident that the earliest telegram in the collection was sent by merchant and banker Stamatios Dekozis Vouros from Istanbul to Athens, just a few months after the establishment of the telegraph service in Greece, in July 1859, and that it concerns loading and shipping wheat.

The main issues raised are product demand, means of transport, wiring money, and the need for immediate communication. There are various cases ranging from the purchase of the bank of Chios to agricultural potato production in the 1960s. However, the main body of telegrams is from the Interwar period and the 1940s and 1950s. They are sent to the ‘Ergoliptiki’ and ‘Geoexport’ companies, which were active in the construction and exports sectors, respectively. Lastly, the telegrams from the archive of Alexandros Mavros (1852-1916), a leather merchant, are of particular interest, as his activities spanned a broad network, ranging from Egypt to Liverpool and Antwerp. Most of these telegrams bear the seal of the Ottoman telegraph office.


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28/07/1859. Telegram stating the loading and dispatch of wheat. This is one of the first telegrams sent in 1859, immediately following the laying of the undersea cables between Athens and Syros, and Syros and Chios, which allowed for the telegraph connection of Athens to Istanbul. (ΜΤ-022018)

09/02/1865. Telegram from Leivadia to Athens regarding the wiring of funds. Delivered in Livadeia at 10:20 and arrived in Athens at 12:55. The transmission time between the sender and the recipient was 2 hours and 30 minutes. (ΜΤ-022052)

26/11/1882. Telegram requesting that the recipient deliver to solicitor Tselepidis twenty 20-franc coins on behalf of a third party (Veriketis) This is one of the earliest telegrams sent by Eastern Telegraph from Chios via Syros to Athens (undersea cable). (ΜΤ-021755)

19/01/1890. A rare telegram with a telegraph stamp. Telegraph stamps were first used in 1890, but they were soon abolished because they were of no service to the public in paying for telegrams. (ΜΤ-021877)

24/12/1911. Telegram from Piraeus to Hydra in which the sender asks that a bill be sent to Kalymnos. (ΜΤ-021903)

10/08/1905. Commercial telegram sent from the Main Office of Eastern Telegraph Company Limited in London, regarding the loading and price of cargo. (ΜΤ-022076)

26/11/1906. Telegram from Adrianoupoli to Thessaloniki regarding an offer on goods (acorns and buffalo leather). The telegram was received by the Ottoman telegraph office. The telegram paper bears the notice: “The State undertakes no liability for telegraphy services” (in Turkish and French). Alexandros Philippou Mavrou (recipient of the telegram) had had a commercial store in Thessaloniki since 1880 and traded in leather and other tannery materials and machines. (ΜΤ-023395)

23/06/1917. Commercial telegram from Mytilene to Thessaloniki. The telegram bears the French censorship stamp "Censure Télégraphique - Armées Alliées 23/6/1918", as well as the stamp of the telegraph office “Thessaloniki 23 JUN 1918”, which were added after the fact. Immediately following the disembarkation of English and French military forces in Thessaloniki (5/10/1915) during World War I, the allied forces imposed censorship on post and telegrams, which remained in force until 1918. (MT-023303)

22/11/1931. Telegram regarding the reception of a gramophone from the steamer ‘Kronos” (MT-020252)

18/02/1948. TTT Telegram. The following year, 1949, the department of Post-Telegraphy-Telephony (TTT) would be abolished and replaced by the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), which would take over the domestic telegraphy service. (ΜΤ-020656)

27/7/1942. the sender informs lumber merchant Stasinopoulos regarding the availability and financial demands of the loggers in Halkidiki. As he mentions, they are not currently available, as they are occupied with charcoal production, while their financial demands are excessive due to malaria. He proposes that logging be postponed until November, when charcoal production ends. The telegram bears the Italian censorship stamp in the top right. (ΜΤ-021399)

26/03/1942. Telegram sent during the Italian-German Occupation of Greece. The crown has been removed from the TTT emblem. (ΜΤ-020109)

09/05/1942. Telegram of a commercial nature in which the sender informs the recipient of an agreement with the loggers. Bearing the Italian censorship stamp in the bottom right. (ΜΤ-020116)

15/02/1946. Telegram of a commercial nature sent from London to Athens ‘Via Radio Athinai’. Eastern Telegraph Co was renamed Cable and Wireless Limited in 1937. (ΜΤ-020245)

19/12/1955. Telegram in which the owners at Argostoli market request that the head of the Home Service in Athens send the architectural designs of the market in question, so that construction can begin. Obviously these were the owners of the stores at the Municipal Market of Argostoli, which suffered serious damage during the catastrophic earthquakes of 1953. (ΜΤ-021393)

Undated OTE telegram from Rethymno to Volos concerning the dispatch of a cargo load of olives. The OTE logo on the telegram indicates that it was sent in the early 1950s. (ΜΤ-020723)

14/02/1957. OTE telegram from Amsterdam to Athens. From 1/1/1957 onwards international telegraphy correspondence was transferred from British Cable & Wireless to OTE. (ΜΤ-020649)

18/09/1967. Copy of a telegram in English in which the sender requests that Japanese company Gunze Trade send an offer on polyethylene thread looms. (ΜΤ-020429)

20/10/1969. Telegram in Italian in which the sender informs the recipient regarding the prices and availabilities of metal wires. (ΜΤ-020400)

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