Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse

Posted April 27, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse

Samuel F.B. Morse

On this day in 1791, inventor Samuel F.B. Morse was born. Morse revolutionized long distance communication with his invention of the single-wire telegraph and the development of Morse code, a code using pulses and pauses to deliver messages quickly over vast distances.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 27, 1791. He was the first child of Jedediah Morse and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. His father was a Calvinist pastor and a notable geographer whose geography textbooks became a staple for students in the United States.

After completing his studies in philosophy and mathematics at Yale, Morse chose to pursue a career as a painter. He studied painting in England for several years before returning to the United States to open his own studio. Morse became a successful portrait painter and was commissioned to paint portraits for many notable figures at the time.

However, the death of his wife would inspire Morse to pursue his work on the telegraph. While working on a commission away from home, Morse received word that his wife had fallen seriously ill. Morse immediately left to return home, but upon his arrival, he learned that not only had his wife already passed, but that she had also already been buried. Disturbed that he had been unaware of his wife’s illness and death for many days, Morse worked to find a faster means to communicate. Morse developed a single-wire system that could quickly transmit messages across vast distances, using a code made up of pulses and pauses called Morse code. Once funding was secured, the telegraph was quickly adopted throughout the country.

Explore Samuel F.B. Morse’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related to the inventor!

View Samuel F.B. Morse’s Geni Profile

Image: Library of Congress

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