SAMUEL F. B. MORSE - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 03/25/1871 - HFSID 84764
Sale Price $1,530.00
SAMUEL F.B. MORSE
The painter and inventor of Morse code signs this letter inviting Thomas Addison Richards to an art and culture gathering
Manuscript letter signed: "Saml. F.B. Morse", 1¼p, 5x8. New York City, 1871 March 25. To T. Addison Richards, Esqr. Begins: "Dear Sir". In full: "The pleasure of your company is requested at an informal meeting of gentlemen, to be held at my house, at 8 o'clock on the evening of Friday the 31st inst, in furtherance of a movement for the establishment of a Lectureship on Art for the benefit of the citizens of New York, in connection with the proposed University for Women. It is believed that permanent provision should be made for elevating the standard of culture and criticism in Art. Thus only can our citizens be prepared for the proper appreciation of our Academies of Design, and of the Museums and Galleries of Art, both at home and abroad. With much respect Very truly yours." SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE MORSE (1791-1872) was an American painter and inventor. While attending Yale College Morse painted for a living and later studied art in Europe. His first wife died suddenly and Morse, heartbroken, became determined to formulate a faster way to send messages long distances. While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. On May 24, 1844, using a code of dots and dashes that he developed, sent the message, "What hath God wrought!" from the Supreme Court room in the Capitol building to Baltimore, the first successful application of the telegraph. In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data. The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. London-born illustrator and artist THOMAS ADDISON RICHARDS (1820-1900) was known for his landscapes and still lifes. At the time of this letter, he was a professor of art at New York University. Richards, who had introduced a wide audience of Americans to the natural landscapes of the South through his paintings and illustrated travel guides, had attended the National Academy of Design in 1845 and was its corresponding secretary for 40 years. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Tape repair at 1 inch separation at lower blank margin at mid-vertical fold, 1 inch separation at upper blank margin at that fold. Light ink transference on verso of front page (no show through), soiled at folds on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.
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