William Penn School
Think Quest Junior Team #5729
|The idea for the electric telegraph was not thought up in a scientific laboratory, but on the deck of a sailing ship called the Scully, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The inventor was Samuel Finley Breese Morse, and in 1832, he was on of the most famous artists in the United States. Morse and ship passengers were talking about the invention of the electromagnet, which looked like a horseshoe with wire wrapped around it. They talked about how electricity traveled through the wire. Morse thought if electricity would travel a short distance through wire, it could travel long distances through wire also.||
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DASH = - LONG DASH = ---- )
CHARACTER: MORSE CODE CONTINENTAL CODE
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|Morse's idea was to string a wire between two points, maybe miles apart.
A key at one end is pressed and it closes the electrical curcuit which
sends a pulse of electricity through the wire. When the key is let
go very fast, the pulse of electricity sent through the wire is a dot.
if the key is held down 3 times longer, the pulse is a dash. Dashes
and dots mixed together form different letters of the alphabet and when sent
from a person at one end of the wire to another person at the other end
of the wire, these dashes and dots would spell out words.
In 1837, he developed his telegraph idea enough to test it. Morse strung seventeen hundred feet of wire around his room at New York University, where he taught. It worked; his signals traveled from one end of the wire to the other.
He showed his invention to members of Congress in the Capital by stringing 10 miles of wire around the room, and it worked. Congress didn't think the telegraph would work for long distances, so Morse put several miles of wire through underground pipes. The insulation around the wire wouldn't let the electricity travel very well, so Morse decided to string the wire from poles instead.
These were the first of thousands of poles that would go across the United States.
|On May 24, 1844, Morse stretched wires from Washington D.C. to Baltimore, New York and sent the message, "What hath God wrought!" through the telegraph machine. The telegraph was a success, In 1874, engineer and inventor Thomas Edison invented quadruplex telegraphy, where two messages could be sent in each direction at one time. In 1915, the multiplex telegraphy let eight or more messages be sent at one time. Because of this and the invention of the teleprinting machines during the mid-1920s the Morse Code telegraph system wasn't needed anymore.||