Samuel F.B. Morse and the Telegraph

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by tmussaw
Last updated 6 years ago

Inventors and Inventions

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Samuel F.B. Morse and the Telegraph

Birth: April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, MassachusettsDeath: April 2, 1872, New York, New YorkParents: Jedidiah Morse (Father) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese (Mother)Wives: Lucretia Walker (m. 1818–1825) ' Elizabeth Griswold (m. 1848–1872)Children: William Morse, James Morse, Charles Morse, Edward Morse, Susan Morse, Cornelia Morse, Samuel MorseEducation: Phillips Academy at Andover, Yale College (which is now known as Yale University), Royal Academy in LondonPolitical Views: RepublicanMorse's early career was as a painter, painting portraits, some of which became the finest portraits ever done by an American Artist. However, his preference was European style art.Morse also took interest in political leadership roles, including running unsuccessfully for Congress.Morse co-founded Vassar College in 1861.

Motivations and Challenges

Morse's first wife died while he was in Washington completing a portrait of Marquis de Lafayette, but he did not receive news of her death until after she was laid to rest. Some feel this may have been one of his motivations to invent the telegraph.In 1837, a Frenchman had announced that he had completed a system that would send messages electronically. This motivated Morse to take quick action before someone else did in the U.S., sending a caveat to the Patent Office describing his designs and announcing his intention of making a full patent application. In 1940 Morse was able to patent his version of the telegraph.Morse encountered challenges along the way. One challenge was one unsuccessful demonstration of the telegraph when boats in the Hudson inadvertently severed the wires with their metal anchors. He also faced the challenge of having to protect his patent in the court system. It wasn't until 1854 that the Supreme Court ruled that his patent was original.

Impact of the Telegraph text her

Citations and Articles


The Man Behind Morse Code

Samuel F.B. Morse and the Telegraph

The social impact that the telegraph made during the industrial revoluation was that it became much faster to send and receive messages that people depended on. Before the telegraph, people depended on getting messages back and forth to one another through messengers on horseback. This was both slow and undependable, as mail was frequently stolen. The invention of Morse Code, which was used in telegraph transmissions also allowed for military people to transmit messages quickly.The telegraph and Morse Code aren't used as much today, but without the invention of both, we wouldn't have a lot of the modern communication devices we have at our disposal today, such as the telephone.


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