হেয়ার স্ট্রিটের মোড়ে টেলিগ্রাফ অফিস ভবন, ১৮৭৮
Telecommunications services, in true sense, began in India in 1851 when a telegraph service became operational between Calcutta, then the seat of the British colonial government, and Diamond Harbor 21 miles away, a trading post of the British East India Company. The telegraph, and later the telephone were introduced in India in 1882 and were viewed by the British as tools of command and control that were essential to maintain law and order in the country.
This view of The Telegraph Office, situated on the bend of Old Court House Street and Hare Street, at the south-west corner of Dalhousie Square was taken in 1878. The construction of the building started in 1873. This is the oldest and the original part of the sprawling Telegraph Office complex and is more commonly known as the ‘Dead Letter Office’. It served as the central sorting office for incoming mail from overseas to Bengal. Where the postal address was incomplete, or the addressee not located or deceased or when the letter could not be returned to the sender, the letter stayed in this wonderful Italianate corner building with a campanile tower in North–Eastern corner. Supposedly it was designed as a Italian clock tower, but it never came to contain a clock. The Central Telegraph Office, 1876, Lord Dalhousie, then Governor General of India, sponsored the first telegraph services in India in the 1850s. In 1870, the first telegraph connecting Britain and Kolkata was switched on.
Photograph is a part of the ‘Walter Hawkins Nightingale collection “Album of views of Calcutta”, was taken by James Humpidge.