Samuel Morse

Samuel Morse & Morse Code

Samuel Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 27, 1971. Early in his career, he was a successful painter. With a wife and three children, Morse lived a peaceful life. Until one day, when Morse was in Washington during the painting of Lafayette’s portrait when he heard the news that his wife was very ill. Of course, he rushed home only to find that she had passed while he was on his journey.

Morse was devastated by the news and frustrated with the inability to receive messages faster. The situation motivated him to create a communication system that could deliver information across greater distances much quicker.

The Inventor

During one of his sea voyages he learned about electromagnetism and the ability for electrical currents to convey information over wires. The telegraph at the time required 26 separate wires, one for each letter of the alphabet. However , Morse had hopes of reducing this to one. With little knowledge of electricity, Morse tried his best to invent his own version of the telegraph.

Where did he start?

In 1837, Morse presented his first telegraph device with the one-wired system as he had hoped. The result produced a line on the tickertip. Each electrical pulse had to be decoded into letters and numbers using a dictionary created by Mores. Eventually, Morse perfected this code by assigning a sequence of short and long pulses to numbers and letters in the English language.

Patenting the Technology

With the help of telegraphy experts such as Joseph Henry and Louis Breguet, Morse filed for a patent of a printing telegraph. On May 11th, 1844, Morse sent the first inter-city message. During the time, private companies were using his patent to build telegraph lines from Washington to Boston.

Thanks to Samuel Morse and Morse code the development of the telegraph was pushed further, contributing to nation-wide communication.