The Birth of the Telegraph

In 1837, Samuel F. B. Morse invented the 'telegraph,' a machine that used electricity to relay signals. Then in 1844, Morse successfully demonstrated electrical communication using a 130km wire between Baltimore and Washington, sending the words 'What hath God wrought?'
By 1850, a telegraph line connected Great Britain and France, and by 1857 the Transatlantic Cable connected Great Britain and the U.S.
Soon thereafter, telegraph lines linked all parts of the world, and many people were able to use this new invention.
The Morse Telegraph

Samuel Finley Breese Morse
Born in 1791 in Great Britain. Moved to the U.S. and continued his research in electricity.

How the Morse Telegraph works
  1. The key is pressed to start communication and allow current to flow into the coil of the receiving machine.
  2. The iron rod within the coil is magnetized, and attracts the iron leaf.
  3. The key is released, shutting off the current, and the spring forces the iron leaf away from the iron bar.
  4. This movement of the iron leaf leaves a record on paper tape. At first a needle was pressed into the paper to emboss the record, but later versions used a pen or a tone (acoustic device) for recording. Diagram


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