Invented and Patented in 1837
The electrical telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse and his assistant Alfred Vail. In the 1830's Morse and Vail came up with Morse Code. Morse Code was used to transmit messages across telegraph wires. This code assigned letters in the alphabet and numbers a set of dots and dashes based on the frequency of use.
Use of the Telegraph
The telegraph was very useful to many people. It made sending and receiving information much faster and easier. The telegraph changed how wars were fought and how journalists conducted business. The telegraph also allowed money to be wired across great distances.
"The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than from telephone to email!" -Noam Chomsky
The Western Union was the top telegraph company and in 1864 it operated on 44,000 miles of wire. In 1866 it included around 100,000 miles of wire.