SAMUEL F. B. MORSE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/16/1860 - HFSID 283743
SAMUEL F. B. MORSE Signed Autograph Letter (1860), reporting that he has had ambrotypes of himself made Autograph Letter signed: "Saml. F. B. Morse", 1 page, 4½x7½. New York, N.Y., 1860 March 16. To John Skiving, Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Sale Price $1,530.00
SAMUEL F. B. MORSE
Signed Autograph Letter (1860), reporting that he has had ambrotypes of himself made
Autograph Letter signed: "Saml. F. B. Morse", 1 page, 4½x7½. New York, N.Y., 1860 March 16. To John Skiving, Germantown, Pennsylvania. In full: "I have had ambrotype portraits of myself taken in the attitude indicated in yours of Feb. 27. There are two, one containing the full length in the attitude, and the other the Head in the same attitude but about 3 inches in length. They are on glass, 7x9 inches. How shall I get them to you?" Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872) was an accomplished portrait and mural painter and founder of the National Academy of Design. On a trip to Europe in 1830, while observing French semaphores, and realized that messages could be sent even more quickly using an electrical spark. In March 1843, he won a grant from the US Congress to build the first telegraph line. He sent the first successful telegraph message from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore on May 24, 1844. His code for message transmission became, of course, the system of dots and dashes known as Morse code. Morse built telegraph lines across the country while battling rivals in the courts. Ambrotype was an early type of photo image, derived from collodian poured onto glass, a method in frequent use from 1851 into the 1880s. The problem of transport mentioned by Morse was not minor, since these glass plates were fragile. Horizontal and vertical fold creases, not affecting signature. Lightly toned and foxed. Lower left corner chipped. Pencil note (unknown hand) on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.
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