Samuel F. B. Morse

American artist and inventor
Born: 1791

Although he is remembered as the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse’s first career was as an artist. From 1810 through the 1830s he studied and taught painting in Europe and the United States. On a trip from Europe, Morse met U.S. scientist Charles Thomas Jackson, who had been studying electricity and the electromagnet in Paris. Morse became interested in the idea that electricity could facilitate human communication. Upon his return he broke from painting to work on developing an electric telegraph. European inventors were attempting similar projects, but Morse was the one who, in May 1844, successfully transmitted the first telegraph message—“What hath God wrought”—from Washington to Baltimore.

See also Encyclopedia: Samuel F. B. Morse.

Died: 1872