Saturday, April 27, 2013
April 27 - Samuel F.B. Morse
Painter and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse was born on April 27, 1791, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He began his career as a painter of portraits and historical canvases in Boston and New York. He studied art in Europe, but while returning home in 1832 he encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, who experimented with electromagnetism to develop a telegraph that transmitted electrical impulses over multiple wires. Morse, however, perfected a single-wire telegraph, which he first demonstrated in 1837-38 and finally developed on a large scale in 1844 with an experimental, 38-mile telegraph line between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, built by Ezra Cornell using the right-of-way of the B&O Railroad. Morse opened the line with the words, "What hath God wrought!" sent from the Supreme Court chamber using Morse Code, which he co-invented. His telegraph (patented in 1849) could transmit 30 characters per minute. Within a decade more than 20,000 miles of telegraph wire had been posted across America.