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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Spacegram  
  Telegrams of the space lanes.  

I don't know of an earlier use of this word.

When the railroads opened the American West, telegraph lines went right along. So, when opening the space lanes...

In his hand he clutched a small square of blue paper which I instantly recognized as a spacegram...

...he interrupted me, took my trembling hands from his arms and pushed forward the blue square of crinkled paper. I stared at it, swiftly perused it for some explanation to the horror.

DEC 2012
INTERPLANETARY EARTHPORT
IMPORTANT STOP DETAIN ALL
SPACECRAFT LEAVING EARTH
WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS STOP
CLOUD OF STRANGE ELEC-
TRO METEORITES BRUSHED
PAST EROS CAUSING VIOLENT
ELECTRICAL DISPLAY STOP
SPACE CRUISER VALONDINE RE-
FUELING AT EROS WITHIN THE
HOUR AND LEAVING FOR EARTH
COMMANDER MARSPORT

Technovelgy from An Adventure on Eros, by J. Harvey Haggard.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Take a look at this instance of the word, from Pirates of Space (1931) by B.X. Barry:

Spacegrams were being flashed to Mars, Venus and other planets of the civilized explored universe.
Here's another example from Jurisdiction (1941) by Nat Schachner:

Simeon Kenton, of Kenton Space Enterprises, Unlimited, was in a terrible temper... His mildly whiskered saint's visage was screwed up into unutterable knots. In his tight-clutched fingers was a blue spacegram which he shook violently at his daughter at each choking pause in his peroration...


('Jurisdiction' by Nat Schachner)

Old Simeon glared at her and waved the offending spacegram so violently it ripped in his fingers.

Here's another use, from Off the Beam (1944) by George O. Smith:

A steward found Channing in the salon and handed him a ’gram. Channing smiled, and the steward returned the smile and added : “You’ll fix these ships to talk back one day. Wait until you read that one — you’ll burn from here to Terra !”

"Reading my mail?" asked Channing cheerfully. The average spacegram was about as secret as a postcard, so Channing didn't mind...

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from An Adventure on Eros
  More Ideas and Technology by J. Harvey Haggard
  Tech news articles related to An Adventure on Eros
  Tech news articles related to works by J. Harvey Haggard

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