Telegrams and road work

March 21, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Graded road all day. About 2 miles from Co. I.

Wired Elinore not to come because of quaranteen. Hope she can come next week.”

I’m fascinated by the idea of the telegraph. Yesterday I talked about my kids and trying to explain the concept of communication without cell phones, texting, or email. Without home phones, even. In a way, the telegraph offered a level of direct communication that we can’t match today: you write your message, it is transmitted across state lines nearly instantly, it is transcribed on the other end, and some kid takes your message and physically delivers it to the recipient.

Granted, the recipient had to be at home where the telegraph boy could find him or her, and would have to answer the door, but what an extraordinary method of communication.

I have no idea if Robert’s work on the road is related to the report below (from the Iowa State Highway Commission’s 1918 Annual Report), but I do know that a substantial amount of work was done on Camp Dodge Road during 1918:


It’s fair to say that Robert and his colleagues were not doing the “inspection and supervision” but rather the actual work involved.

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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