Here are some facts about Samuel Morse.
- Samuel Morse was born in 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts in the United States.
- His father was a pastor and geographer.
- Samuel Morse studied at Phillips Academy and Yale College. He supported himself by selling his paintings.
- In 1811, Samuel Morse and his father traveled to England. They stayed there for three years and Morse worked on improving his painting technique.
- One his most well-known paintings is called Dying Hercules.
- In 1816, Samuel Morse painted President John Adams. He also painted the Marquis de Layfayette, a leading French supporter of the American Revolution.
- Morse traveled to Europe in the early 1830s. He visited Italy, France and Switzerland and became friends with James Fennimore Cooper (author of The Last of the Mohicans) after meeting him in Paris.
- In 1832, Samuel Morse met Charles Thomas Jackson, a student of electromagnetism. Keen to develop a rapid means of communicating over long distance, Morse developed the single-wire telegraph.
- He developed the Morse code with Alfred Vail, a way of transmitting text through a series of on/off tones, became the main language of telegraphy.
- In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrated the electric telegraph to the public at the Speedwell Ironworks in New Jersey.
- In 1844, Morse set up a telegraph wire between Washington DC and Baltimore. The first official message sent was “What hath God wrought.”
- In the 1850s, Samuel Morse was in favour of slavery, believing it to be sanctioned by God.
- Morse also invented a machine for cutting marble for three-dimensional sculptures.
- Samuel Morse died in 1872, in New York City. He is buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
- In 1871, a statue of Samuel Morse was put up in Central Park, New York. More than 10000 people witnessed the statue’s unveiling.
- The death of Samuel Morse’s first wife was the event that triggered his work on developing the telegraph. He was informed by his wife’s illness by a message sent by horse messenger. He raced to her side but he hadn’t received the message in time. By the time he arrived, she was already dead and buried.
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