Samuel Morse

History P2I


In this website I will be talking about the man who created the telegraph and Morse Code, Samuel Morse.

This website includes:

His life

About the telegraph,

About Morse Code

And why he was so important.

Enjoy the website!

Early Life

Samuel Morse was born in Charleston, Massachusetts on April 17, 1791, the first child of Jedidiah Morse, a Congregational minister and geographer, and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese.


Samuel Morse went to Yale university to study religious philosophy and mathematics, and the science of horses! During his schooling, he was able to attend lectures about electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He was able to earn money through painting. He graduated in 1810 from Yale. Later on he became a proper artist, and while he was at Washington D.C he got a message saying that his wife was ill, and by the time he got home, she had already died, and been buried. So he thought to himself that he would not be a painter, and that he would become a scientist, and find a way of electronically sending a message to someone through a wire, and later on created the telegraph, which would later on turn into some inventions we use extremely regularly today... (tell you later).


Samuel Morse married Lucretia Pickering Walker on September 29, 1819 in New Hampshire. On February 7, 1825, she died, just a little while after their fourth child was born. Their children were Susan, Elizabeth, Charles, and James. He married again much later in life on August 10, 1848 to Sarah Elizabeth Griswold. They had four children together: Samuel, Cornelia, William, and Edward.

Later Years

Besides his telegraph invention, he also invented a marble-cutting machine. It had the ability to carve three-dimensional sculptures made of stone or marble. Yet he was not able to patent it because there was an 1820 design by Thomas Blanchard. Samuel Morse was known as a defender of slavery. He also gave a good amount of money to charity. He gave funds to establish a relationship between Science and the Bible. He never received the true value of his patented telegraph, but he was not bitter about it, and at the time of his death, his estate was worth around $500,000. When he did eventually die, he was at an old age that most people wish to live to, and that was a peaceful 80 years old.

The Invention of The Telegraph

The telegraph was the first from of communication that could be sent from a great distance and was a landmark in human history. For the first time man could communicate with another from a great distance changing everything from how wars were fought to everyday conversations. It is a creation, along with the steam engine, that was one of the key inventions to the industrial revolution. Letters took hours, days, and even months to arrive at their destination, making most information irrelevant. Because of its constant use, the telegraph was upgraded to make sure that anyone in the world could communicate with each other, just by pressing a couple of buttons. This is known as the wireless telegraph.

The First Telegraph

The Invention of Morse Code

The telegraph changed the dots and dashes of this code into electrical impulses and transmitted them over telegraph wires. A telegraph receiver on the other end of the wire converted the electrical impulses to dots and dashes on a paper tape. Later, this code became universal and is now known as Morse Code. The series of dots and dashes used to communicate are created by using something called a Morse key (below). In past times, and still in these times, Morse code is used in the army (for example it is used in the royal signals for multiple things). Morse Code can be transmitted using sound and light, as sometimes happens between ships at sea. It is used in emergencies to transmit distress signals when no other form of communication is available.

Morse Key

Why Samuel Morse was so important

One of the main reasons is that, if we didn't have Morse code, most of the soldiers who have gone to war would not have had any secret way of communicating, if they had been captured, or if they were stranded and needed to use the code for SOS

( . . . _ _ _ . . . ).

Also, the invention of the telegraph lead to the invention of the wireless telegraph, which then developed into the telephone, then into the mobile phones we have today, so if Samuel Morse had not been there to create the telegraph, we would not have something that most of us rely on for our every day lives, there are some people who work completely on their phones, and they would not be able to do what they do without it.

Thank you for reading this! I hope it is a good source of information for anyone that needs it!

By Jacob Gregoire 8u

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