Fact File about the Invention of the Telegraph: Invention: Telegraph *** Date of Invention: 1838 *** Name of Inventor: Samuel Morse *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1791 - 1872 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: First US Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1860) *** Category: Communications *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Samuel Morse, and the invention of the Telegraph ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Telegraph? The Telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse in 1838 during the First US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1700 - 1860) which was a principal addition to advancements made in the area of Communications.
For additional information refer to the Invention of
Fact 2: Who invented the Telegraph? Prior to the invention of the Telegraph in 1838, there was
a non electric telegraph which was invented by Claude Chappe in 1794.
Claude Chappe's system used a visual system called semaphore (a flag-based
alphabet) that depended on a line of sight for communication.
Fact 3: Who invented the Telegraph? The inventor of the Telegraph, Samuel Morse, was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States and died on April 2, 1872.
Fact 4: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse was galvanized to such an extent that he was destined to become esteemed as the American inventor of the Telegraph.
Fact 5: Who invented the Telegraph? The early years of Samuel Morse were spent in Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States where he was raised by his family. Samuel Morse was educated at
Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts and when he was 14 years old he went on
to Yale College
Fact 6: Who invented the Telegraph? In 1810 Samuel Morse graduated from
Yale College and returned to Charlestown, Massachusetts. Following his education his first job was as a
became a clerk for Daniel Mallory, his father's Boston book publisher.
Fact 7: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse had no interest in his
job, he was a gifted artist and wanted to pursue art as his career. In 1811 his
parents finally agreed that Samuel could go to England to attend the Royal
Academy of Arts in London
Fact 8: Who invented the Telegraph? In October 1816, Samuel Morse
returned to the United States and opened an art studio in Boston. Samuel Morse
was an intelligent and extremely well educated and his interests included the
many inventions that were being made at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
In 1817 Samuel and his brother Sidney patented an invention for a man-powered
water pump for fire engines.
Fact 9: Who invented the Telegraph? On September 29,1818 Samuel Morse
married Lucretia Pickering Walker in Concord, New Hampshire. The couple had
three children but Lucretia died on February 7, 1825. Samuel Morse married his
second wife, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold on August 10, 1848, in Utica, New York and
the couple went on to have four children.
Fact 10: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse made a name for himself
as a successful portrait painter. His portraits included paintings of Eli
Whitney and the Marquis de Lafayette. Still interested in new technology and
inventions he made a three dimensional marble-cutting machine in 1822.
Fact 11: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse mixed in elite circles
with famous men of the day and kept abreast of the latest scientific inventions
and discoveries. He was particularly interested in electricity and
Fact 12: Who invented the Telegraph? In 1832, Samuel Morse first
conceived his idea for the invention of an electromagnetic Telegraph and by 1835
had constructed a recording telegraph with a moving paper ribbon.
Fact 13: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse then started plans to
create "relays," where one electric circuit is used to open and close a switch
on another electric circuit that was located further away. Samuel Morse had
found a way to use the flow of electric current to make a code that could be
sent along the wires.
Fact 14: Who invented the Telegraph? He went on to realize that if a man
at one end of a line of wire pressed down a key (the sender), electricity could
be made at the same moment to automatically press down another key at the other
end of the line of wire to the receiver and marked by the receiving machine on a
moving strip of paper.
Fact 15: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse invented the Morse Key
that could create short and long bursts of electric current (called pulses)
using long or short taps on his Morse key machine. He then needed to create a
code that could make impressions on the moving strip of paper.
Fact 16: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse, working with his
assistant, Alfred Vail, realized that if the man at one end of the wire held his
key down for only an instant, this impression would look like a dot. If the
key was held down longer, it would look like a short dash.
Fact 17: Who invented the Telegraph? The dots and dashes were combined in
a number of different ways so as to represent the letters of the alphabet and
the Morse Code was born. Additional combinations of dots and dashes were added
to the code to represent numbers.
Fact 18: Who invented the Telegraph? The invention of the Telegraph and
the Morse code made it possible for messages to be sent over long distances,
however, the first test of the telegraph and code was sent across two miles (3
Fact 19: Who invented the Telegraph?
sent the first telegram
on 11 January 1838, across two
miles (3 km) of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey. The
first message read "A patient waiter is no loser"
Fact 20: Who invented the Telegraph?
then demonstrated his system to a rather skeptical Congress. He sent telegraph
messages between the Senate and House but it took a few years before Congress
would fund the telegraph system. In
1843 congress provided funds of $10,000 and the first telegraph line ran for 30
miles from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland.
Fact 21: Who invented the Telegraph?
The invention of the telegraph coincided with the construction of the
across America. The telegraph system carried signals across the land by lines
(wires) supported by telegraph poles. As the land was cleared for the railroad
it was easy to set up poles to carry the telegraph wires.
Fact 22: Who invented the Telegraph? On May 24, 1844 a telegraph message
was sent by Samuel Morse in Washington to Alfred Vail at the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad. Alfred Vail in Baltimore sent the message "What is the news from
Washington?" Samuel Morse replied by telegraphing political news from the
Fact 23: Who invented the Telegraph?
By the Civil War (1861 - 1865),
the telegraph had become indispensable and
Portable Telegraph Units were made
for use on battlefields..
By 1861, telegraph lines crossed the American continent and by 1866, the
transatlantic cable connected America and Europe.
Fact 24: Who invented the Telegraph? Samuel Morse died on April 2, 1872
and was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. He will always be
remembered in history as the inventor of the telegraph.