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Company History

1851 The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company, Western Union's predecessor, is formed by a group of businessmen in Rochester, New York.
1856 The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company changes its name to The Western Union Telegraph Company, signifying the union of "western" telegraph lines with eastern lines into one system, following acquisition of a series of competing telegraph systems.
1861 Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line, providing fast communications during the Civil War.
1866 Introduced stock tickers, providing brokerage firms with New York Stock Exchange quotations.
1870 Launched Western Union time service, which helped standardized time nationally.
1871 Introduced Western Union® Money TransferSM service nationally.
1884 Named one of the original stocks in the first Dow Jones Average.
1914 Introduced the first consumer charge card.
1923 Introduced teletypewriters, joining branches and individual companies.
1933 Introduced singing telegrams.
1935 Introduced first intercity facsimile service.
1943 Pioneered the first commercial intercity microwave system.
1958 Introduced TelexSM, a direct-dial consumer to consumer teleprinter service.
1964 Inaugurated transcontinental microwave radio beam system, replacing poles and wires that spanned the continent.
1970 Introduced Western Union® Mailgram® messages, delivered next day via postal service.
1974 Launched Westar I, America's first domestic communications satellite.
1982 Became the first company with five satellites in orbit.
1989 Introduced the Quick Collect® service, a system for creditors to secure fast collection of delinquent accounts via flat-rate Money Transfers. Began rapid money transfer service outside North America.
1992 Introduced the Western Union® Money OrderSM service.
1993 Introduced "Dinero en Minutos® (Money in Minutes) service", making funds available in minutes to Mexico after being sent from the U.S. Introduced the Western Union® Phone Card® service, the first branded, pre-paid and disposable telephone card offered in the U.S.
1994 Western Union Financial Services, Inc. acquired by First Financial Management Corporation.
1995 First Financial Management Corporation merges with First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC). Western Union Financial Services, Inc. becomes a First Data Corporation subsidiary.
1996 Western Union opens North America headquarters in Englewood, CO and maintains International and Commercial Services headquarters in Paramus, NJ. In addition, Western Union continues to expand its international presence with regional offices in Paris, Vienna and Hong Kong.
1998 The Western Union Money Transfer service reached 50,000 Agent locations in over 160 countries worldwide, still the world's largest money transfer network. International Regional Operating Centers established in Brussels and Costa Rica.
2001 The Western Union Money Transfer service reached 100,000 Agent locations. Western Union International headquarters established in Paris.
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