178 years after the first telegraph communication

On May 24, but in 1844, Samuel Morse  was able to communicate with his assistant at the ends of Baltimore. His feat marked a before and after in communications.


The first communication by telegraph took place on May 24, 1844, now 178 years ago, by Samuel Morse  in Washington at one end and his assistant in Baltimore at the other.

Based on his famous and still valid code of electrical impulses transformed into dots and dashes to transmit messages, Morse invented and installed a telegraphy system in the United States, the first of its kind.

Morse had already developed his code of signals in 1838. After several failures to implement it, he got his country’s Congress to pass a bill to provide $30,000 to build a 60-kilometer telegraph line. Several months later the project was approved, and the line would extend 55 kilometers between Baltimore and Washington.

What did the first telegraph message say?

On May 24, 1844, Morse delivered the message that would become so famous: ” What hath God wrought” , a biblical quote from the Supreme Court chamber in the basement of the Capitol in Washington. , D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland.

Remarkable as his work was, Morse had to face opposition from superstitious people who blamed his invention for all evil. Furthermore, the invention was being developed simultaneously in other countries and by other scientists, so Morse was involved in lengthy litigation to obtain the rights to the system from him. These rights were finally recognized in 1854 by the Supreme Court of the United States.

With his invention, Morse won a large fortune with which he bought a large property, and in his later years he devoted himself to philanthropic work, contributing considerable sums to schools such as Vassar College and Yale University, as well as other missionary and charitable associations. .