“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Shanghai Inter-Hotel Cable Codes Guide, 1930

Posted: September 18th, 2018 | 1 Comment »

Before telex machines, pagers and mobile texts – all that LOL, BTW etc etc – there were cable codes that allowed for regularly sent short messages to save time and costs. Hotels in Shanghai, and throughout the Far East, worked out their own set of codes (you may need to click on the image below to see better)….for instance short codes for reserving rooms, transfers, forwarding mail – should you wish a bath simply send one of the codes followed by “B”. The bottom example shows you how efficient the system could be….

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One Comment on “Shanghai Inter-Hotel Cable Codes Guide, 1930”

  1. 1 Connor Scholfield said at 6:13 pm on September 18th, 2018:


    Trying to figure out how to reach you without twitter. Hope this works!

    I’m a young student of Chinese language and history, living in Shanghai, following in a lot of your footsteps—I’m a writer, trying to start a specialty walking tour, and I’m in love with this city.

    I would love to seek a little wisdom if you can find the time to reply to this.

    If not, just know that I’m grateful for your work!

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