On this day in 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born April 27, 1791, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, where he was interested in art, as well as electricity, still in its infancy at the time. After college, Morse became a painter. In 1832, while sailing home from Europe, he heard about the newly discovered electromagnet and came up with an idea for an electric telegraph. He had no idea that other inventors were at work on the idea already.
Morse spent another several years creating a prototype and took on two companions, Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail, to help him. In 1838, he proven his invention using Morse code, where dots and dashes represented characters and amounts. In 1843, Morse finally convinced a skeptical Congress to fund the construction of the first telegraph line in the United States, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. In May 1844, Morse sent the first official telegram over the line, with the message: “What hath God wrought!”
Over the next few years, private companies, using Morse’s patent, set up telegraph lines around the Northeast. In 1851, the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company was founded; it would later change its name to Western Union. In 1861, Western Union finished the first transcontinental line across the United States. Five years later, the first successful permanent line across the Atlantic Ocean was constructed and by the end of the century telegraph systems were set up in Africa, Australia and asia.
Because telegraph companies charged by the term, telegrams became known because of their succinct prose-whether they contained sad or happy information. The expressed word “stop,” that was free, was found in host to a period, that there is a charge. In 1933, Traditional western Union introduced performing telegrams. During World Battle II, Americans emerged to dread the view of Traditional western Union couriers because the armed forces used telegrams to see families about military’ deaths.
During the period of the 20th century, telegraph text messages were replaced by cheap long-distance phone service generally, email and faxes. January 2006 traditional western Union delivered its last telegram in.
Apr 2 Samuel Morse passed away wealthy and famous in NEW YORK on, 1872, at age 80.