Samuel Morse

Artist turned Inventor

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LIFESPAN : April 27, 1791 ~ April 2, 1872

PLACE(S) OF LIVING AND OF WORK : Charlestown and Boston, Massachusetts, England, and final place of living in New York City, New York

PROFESSION : First dreams as an artist, which helped him become an inventor

BACKGROUND INFO : Studied at Yale University due to his father's persistence to become something more than just an artist. Morse was also married two times, to Lucretia Walker whom which he had three children. Then, later on, married Elisabeth Griswold.


The Telegraph

EXPLANATION : The telegraph was an invention that was made to carry electrical impulses in the form of a code to a translator to be able to send long distances messages. The messages would be in the form of an electrical pulse by a direct current and would travel by a metal wire and a current indicator, or a buzz/light. These messages were in the language of Morse code which would be printed out by the telegraph on a piece of paper.

HOW : Samuel Morse was first a painter before an inventor, he traveled around the Massachusetts area and East following any opportunity to paint something profitable during the romance period (Historical paintings were popular). Due to many deaths in his family, Morse traveled to England, and on his way back to the U.S. Morse met inventor Charles Thomas Jackson, whom which he discussed the possibility of electric current being able to carry impulses through a long distance wire forced by a machine. Then Morse used his artistic abilities to create his first official model of the telegraph. He was able to create the first model based on his studies of Physicist Joseph Henry.

WHEN : 1830's

"What hath God wrought?" - first telegraph message


The first message sent out by the telegraph was from the mind of Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of Congressman Ellsworth. Congressman Ellsworth had supported Morse throughout the years in trying to gain a more large scale support from Congress, so in respect, Morse let Ellsworth's daughter Annie choose the first words.
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EXPLANATION : Morse code was created for the telegraph's purpose of sending messages. Morse code was the message being passed through the telegraph in a series of different codes based on different letters of the alphabet. These codes were dots and dashes that when received on paper would be translated back to English by an operator.

HOW : The Morse Code was created by both Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail, a helpful hand in Morse's inventions due to ideas and funds he supported Morse with.

WHEN : 1838


WHAT HAPPENED FOR MORSE : After giving a demonstration, Congressman Francis Ormand Johnathan Smith helped Morse with a large scale project that would allow for a long telegraph line. This project would reach from D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland, around a 38-mile stretch. Congressman Smith helped raise around 30,000 dollars for the project to be successful. There were some problems with the type of wire that was used with the telegraph, and another problem for Morse was to face legal problems. Morse was sent to court over the title to the telegraph, even though Morse had an extremely long fight to try and patent his invention. Morse was recognised legally, but Morse would not have any government acknowledgement.



ELECTRICITY : With the help of the invention of the battery, the direct charges from the battery helped for the idea and working model of the telegraph to send its electrical pulses. The development of the telegraph helped many scientists understand how the direct current can be controlled by machines and be used for a more complex purpose.

SOCIETY : Society would take a change for the best and continue to create changes in the future thanks to the telegraph. The telegraph opened up brand new ways to communicate with those in communities and lead to the foundation of the invention of the telephone. The telegraph would also change society in their ways to be aware because telegraphs made the public more aware of time. Time was used to be more organized and to help society become more structured.

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