The Heartbreak That May Have Inspired the Telegraph
Samuel Morse’s life was full of disappointments, and one might’ve inspired his world-changing invention.
Samuel Morse, born on April 27, 225 years ago is best known for inventing Morse code. When he was 53, he strung a wire along the B&O railroad, then using his code to tap out “What hath God wrought” from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland, inaugurating the age of the telegraph, which led to the age of the telephone, then to the Internet, then to the smartphone.
Before all that, people wrote letters.
And it was a letter that gave Morse the bad news. It was a letter that changed his life.
In February 1825, Morse was in Washington, D.C. He was an itinerant painter, a good one, but he wasn’t making a solid living with his art. At age 34, he was