Western UnionWestern Union
is an American financial services and communications company
. It was founded in 1851
as The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company
. After a series of acquisitions of competing companies, the company changed its name to Western Union in 1856
to signify the joining of telegraph
lines from the west to the east coast. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was created in 1884
, it was one of the original 11 companies tracked.
Western Union completed the first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861.
In 1871, Western Union introduced its money transfer service. As the telephone replaced the telegraph, this would become its primary business.