Samuel Morse

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Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
Samuel Finley Breese Morse, 1840
Birthday/Birthplace Samuel Finley Breese Morse
(1791-04-27)April 27, 1791
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Deceased April 2, 1872(1872-04-02)
5 West 22nd Street, New York City, New York
School(s) Yale College
Profession(s) Painter, inventor
Credit for The invention and transmission of Morse code
  • Lucretia Pickering Walker
  • Sarah Elizabeth Griswold
  • Jedidiah Morse (father)

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (Boston, Massachusetts, United States, April 27, 1791 – New York, April 2, 1872), was an American inventor and painter who, together with his associate Alfred Vail, invented and installed a telegraphy system in the United States, the first of its kind. It was the Morse telegraph, which allowed messages to be transmitted by electrical pulses encrypted in the Morse code, also invented by him.

On January 1, 1845, Morse and Vail inaugurated the first telegraph line in the United States between Washington and Baltimore, which used its telegraphy system.

Samuel Morse’s Biography

Portrait of David C. de Forest – Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Samuel Morse was born in Charlestown, a neighborhood in the urban area of ​​Boston. He was the first son of the geographer and pastor Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese (1766-1828). He began his studies at the Phillips Academy in Andover, where he went to Yale College, forming a philosophy religious, mathematical and veterinary equine. And he also studied electricity with Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He remained financially with the painting. In 1810, he graduated with honors Phi Beta Kappa.

In his student years he discovered his vocation for painting and decided to dedicate himself to it, but he was also attracted to recent discoveries and experiments regarding electricity. For a season, he worked in Boston for an editor and later traveled to England to study drawing in London, and became a renowned painter of historical scenes, whose most famous painting is the portrait of La Fayette (1825). Back in New York, he had become one of the most important portraitists in the country, and was one of the most distinguished intellectual groups. In 1826 he was one of the founders and first president of the National Academy of Drawing.

At age 27 he met Lucrecia Walker, a beautiful and educated young woman he fell in love with. The couple married and had four children, but seven years later shortly after the birth of the fourth, his wife died, leaving the inventor disconsolate. Despite being a genius, he did not earn much money as a painter and during those years he lived poorly with his meager income. Sometimes, he would spend days without eating, in which he expected payment for a painting or painting lesson.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse would marry later in second marriages.

Morse with a prototype of his invention.

His latent interest in the affairs of electricity materialized during the return of a trip to Europe, which he undertook after the death of Lucrecia. When he studied at Yale he had learned that if a circuit was interrupted a glare was seen and it occurred to him that these interruptions could be used as a means of communication. This possibility obsessed him.

When arriving at ground of that trip in 1832 already it had designed an incipient telegraph and it began to develop the idea of ​​a telegraphic system of wires with a built-in electromagnet. On January 6, 1833, Morse made his first public demonstration of his telegraph.

At the age of forty-one, he went into the task of building a practical telegraph and awakening the interest of the public and the government in the apparatus and then put it into operation. In 1835 appeared the first telegraphic model developed by Morse. Two years later he abandoned painting to devote himself completely to his experiments, which would obscure his merits as a painter.

Activity in the anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant movement

Morse was a leader in the anti-Catholicism movement in the United States and anti-immigrant in the mid-19th century. In 1836, he ran unsuccessfully as mayor of New York for the Nativist party, receiving only 1496 & nbsp; votes. Morse worked to unite Protestants against Catholic institutions (including schools), and wanted to prohibit the participation of Catholics in public office, in addition to limiting immigration from Catholic countries.

Last years

Portrait of Samuel F. B. Morse by Mathew Brady, between 1855-1865.

By 1838 he had perfected his signal code, which based on dots and dashes became known and used worldwide as “Morse Code”. He tried to implant telegraphic lines first in the United States and then in Europe, but both attempts failed. Finally, Morse got the Congress of his country to approve a bill to provide $ 30,000 allocated to the construction of a 60 km telegraph line. Several months later the project was approved, and the line would extend along 37 miles between Baltimore and Washington.He made an impressive demonstration on May 1, 1844, when news of Henry Clay’s Whig Party nomination for President , it was telegraphed from its Convention in Baltimore to the Capitol in Washington.

On May 24, 1844, Morse transmitted the message that would become so famous: “What God has forged us” (literal translation) or also: “What God has created” (“What hath God wrought”, a biblical quote, Numbers 23:23) from the chamber of the supreme court in the basement of the Capitol in Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland. Despite the remarkableness of his work, Morse had to face the opposition of superstitious who blamed his invention for all evils. [Citation & required] In addition, the invention was being developed simultaneously in other countries and by other scientists, so that Morse was involved in long litigation to obtain the rights to his system. These rights were finally recognized in 1854 by the Supreme Court of the United States.

With his invention, Morse won a large fortune with which he bought an extensive property, and in his later years he devoted himself to philanthropic works, contributing considerable sums to schools such as Vassar College and Yale University in addition to other missionary associations and of charity.

Morse died of pneumonia on April 2, 1872, at age 80, at his home at number 5 West 22nd Street in New York, and was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. < / p>

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