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Samuel F. B. Morse Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

SAMUEL F. B. MORSE
Born: April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts
Died: April 2, 1872 in New York City, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
amuel 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.

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