The inventor of the telegraph Samuel Morse had quite a tough life that was filled with numerous disappointments and this may really have been one of the reasons he ended up inventing the telegraph.
Samuel Morse was born 225 years ago and is known around the world for having invented the Morse code. At the age of 53, he constructed and connected a wire along a railroad all the way from Washington D.C. to Baltimore in Maryland. And then tapped out the first telegraph message ever: What hath God wrought.
In one sweep Morse had started the age of the telegraph, which you could say eventually led on to the invention of the telephone and then the internet, leading up to what we all use today: the smartphone. I mean before this, everyone simply wrote letters. And it was letters that gave Morse bad news throughout his lifetime. It was a letter that changed the course of his life as he knew it.
In February 1825, Morse was in Washington, D.C. trying to make his life as a painter. He wasn’t exactly well known or famous but he was making a solid living from producing art. And as he was growing older, at the age of 34, he was already older than when most artists had created their masterpieces. Morse had traveled to Washington to hopefully catch his big break, the city of New York had commissioned a $1,000 dollar painting from him. This was to pain the returning Marquis de Lafayette who had helped set the country free.
During his trip away from his family home in Connecticut, his wife died Lucretia died from a heart attack while recovering from childbirth. Morse was made aware by a letter from his father, and though he rushed home, due to the slow pace of letter sending he did not make it back for the funeral. By the time he made it back to New Haven, his wife had already been buried.
The rest, as they say, was history, yes Morse spends many years listening to lectures on electricity and electromagnetism while secretly working on his design. But nobody can deny what caused him to start on his journey to creating a way to send information in a matter of minutes.