Samuel Finley Breese Morse - History

Samuel Finley Breese Morse - History


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Massachusetts-born Morse was a noted artist and inventor. Best known for his invention of the magnetic telegraph and Morse code, he was also an accomplished artist. A graduate of Yale University, he later traveled to England to pursue studies in painting. A founder and the first president of the National Academy of Design in New York, Morse also held a professorship at New York University. His invention changed communications forever and Morse was widely celebrated for its creation.

Samuel F.B. Morse

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Samuel F.B. Morse, in full Samuel Finley Breese Morse, (born April 27, 1791, Charlestown, Massachusetts, U.S.—died April 2, 1872, New York, New York), American painter and inventor who developed an electric telegraph (1832–35). In 1838 he and his friend Alfred Vail developed the Morse Code.

What did Samuel F.B. Morse invent?

Samuel F.B. Morse developed an electric telegraph (1832–35) and then invented, with his friend Alfred Vail, the Morse Code (1838). The latter is a system for representing letters of the alphabet, numerals, and punctuation marks by arranging dots, dashes, and spaces. The codes are transmitted through either a telegraph machine or visual signals.

What was Samuel F.B. Morse’s early life like?

Samuel F.B. Morse was the son of the distinguished geographer and Congregational clergyman Jedidiah Morse. He attended Yale College (now Yale University), and, although he was an indifferent scholar, his interest was aroused by lectures on the then little-understood subject of electricity. To the distress of his austere parents, he also enjoyed painting.

What were Samuel F.B. Morse’s achievements?

Samuel F.B. Morse was both an accomplished inventor and a painter. He developed an electric telegraph (1832–35) and then codeveloped the Morse Code (1838). During this time he also painted some of the finest portraits ever done by an American artist.

He was the son of the distinguished geographer and Congregational clergyman Jedidiah Morse. From Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he had been an unsteady and eccentric student, his parents sent him to Yale College (now Yale University) in New Haven, Connecticut. Although he was an indifferent scholar, his interest was aroused by lectures on the then little-understood subject of electricity. To the distress of his austere parents, he also enjoyed painting miniature portraits.

After graduating from Yale in 1810, Morse became a clerk for a Boston book publisher. But painting continued to be his main interest, and in 1811 his parents helped him go to England in order to study that art with American painter Washington Allston. During the War of 1812, between Great Britain and the United States, Morse reacted to the English contempt for Americans by becoming passionately pro-American. Like the majority of Americans of his time, however, he accepted English artistic standards, including the “historical” style of painting—the Romantic portrayal of legends and historical events with personalities gracing the foreground in grand poses and brilliant colours.

When, on his return home in 1815, Morse found that Americans did not appreciate his historical canvases, he reluctantly took up portraiture again to earn a living. He began as an itinerant painter in New England, New York, and South Carolina. After 1825, on settling in New York City, he painted some of the finest portraits ever done by an American artist. He combined technical competence and a bold rendering of his subjects’ character with a touch of the Romanticism he had imbibed in England.

Although often poor during those early years, Morse was sociable and at home with intellectuals, the wealthy, the religiously orthodox, and the politically conservative. In addition, he possessed the gift of friendship. Among his friends in his middle years were a French hero of the American Revolution, the marquis de Lafayette, whose attempts to promote liberal reform in Europe Morse ardently endorsed, and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper. Morse and Cooper shared several traits: both were ardent U.S. republicans, though both had aristocratic social tastes, and both suffered from the American preference for European art.

Morse also had the gift of leadership. As part of a campaign against the licentiousness of the theatre, he helped launch, in 1827, the New York Journal of Commerce, which refused theatre advertisements. He also was a founder of the National Academy of Design, organized to increase U.S. respect for painters, and was its first president from 1826 to 1845.

In 1832, while returning by ship from studying art in Europe, Morse conceived the idea of an electric telegraph as the result of hearing a conversation about the newly discovered electromagnet. Although the idea of an electric telegraph had been put forward in 1753 and electric telegraphs had been used to send messages over short distances as early as 1774, Morse believed that his was the first such proposal. He probably made his first working model by 1835.

Meanwhile, Morse was still devoting most of his time to painting, teaching art at the University of the City of New York (later New York University), and to politics (he ran on anti-immigrant and anti-Roman Catholic tickets for mayor of New York in 1836 and 1841). But by 1837 he had turned his full attention to the new invention. A colleague at the university, chemist Leonard Gale, introduced Morse to Joseph Henry’s work on electromagnetism. The powerful electromagnets that Henry had devised allowed Morse to send messages over 16 km (10 miles) of wire, a much longer distance than the 12 metres (40 feet) over which his first model could transmit. A friend, Alfred Vail, offered to provide materials and labour to build models in his family’s ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey. Gale and Vail became partners in Morse’s telegraph rights. By 1838 he and Vail had developed the system of dots and dashes that became known throughout the world as the Morse Code. In 1838, while unsuccessfully attempting to interest Congress in building a telegraph line, he acquired Maine Congressman F.O.J. Smith as an additional partner. After failing to organize the construction of a Morse line in Europe, Morse alone among his partners persevered in promoting the telegraph, and in 1843 he was finally able to obtain financial support from Congress for the first telegraph line in the United States, from Baltimore to Washington. In 1844 the line was completed, and on May 24 he sent the first message, “What hath God wrought.”

Morse was immediately involved in legal claims by his partners and by rival inventors. A natural controversialist like his father, he fought vigorously in this and other controversies, such as those in art with painter John Trumbull, in religion with Unitarians and Roman Catholics, in politics with the Irish and abolitionists, and in daguerreotypy—of which he was one of the first practitioners in America—with Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s pupil, François Gouraud. The legal battles over the telegraph culminated in an 1854 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established his patent rights. As telegraph lines lengthened on both sides of the Atlantic, his wealth and fame increased. By 1847 Morse had bought Locust Grove, an estate overlooking the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, New York, where, early in the 1850s, he built an Italian villa-style mansion. He spent his summers there with his large family of children and grandchildren, returning each winter season to his brownstone home in New York City.

In his old age, Morse, a patriarch with a flowing beard, became a philanthropist. He gave generously to Vassar College, of which he was a founder and trustee to his alma mater, Yale College and to churches, theological seminaries, Bible societies, mission societies, and temperance societies, as well as to poor artists.


The House of Representatives, 1822, probably reworked 1823

Before achieving fame in the 1840s as the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse was a portraitist of some renown. He sought to cement his reputation as a painter by attempting a grand work of historical significance: The House of Representatives. The foundation for such lofty ambition was laid when he studied at London's Royal Academy of Arts, where painters were taught to execute epic pictures that could edify their audiences. Upon his return to America, Morse chose the chamber of the lower body of the United States Congress in session at the US Capitol—a place unseen and unvisited by most Americans in 1822—as his subject for this monumental undertaking.

Arriving in Washington, DC, in November 1820, Morse worked 14 hours a day for four months in a temporary studio adjacent to the House chamber, which recently had been rebuilt after the Capitol was destroyed by fire during the War of 1812. His massive canvas included careful renderings of architecture and people, including Congressmen, staff, Supreme Court justices, and press. In the visitors' gallery at the far right is Pawnee Indian chief Petalasharo, and on the left, Morse's father, Reverend Jedidiah Morse. Rev. Morse was in town to report on Indian affairs to Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, one of the giants of American political life before the Civil War and a leading defender of slavery.

Ultimately, Morse created a picture of the House of Representatives not as it was, but as he wanted it to be. At a time when the House was often raucous and factional—debating major legislation such as the Slave Trade Act of 1820 and the Missouri Compromise of 1821—Morse presented instead a tranquil and relatively uneventful scene. He toured the painting nationally in 1823, but its lack of sensational subject matter failed to attract wide audiences and ultimately proved to be a financial failure. In the ensuing years, Morse turned away from painting to pursue his scientific interests.

Inscription

lower left: S.F.B. MORSE. pinx / 1822

Provenance

Acquired from the artist by 1828 by Charles Robert Leslie, London sold c. September 1839 to Sherman Converse. (Coates and Company, New York), in 1847. Joseph Ripley, in 1858. purchased by Daniel Huntington, by 1873 purchased from his estate 17 June 1911 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art acquired 2014 by the National Gallery of Art.


Samuel F.B. Morse: A Brilliant Artist and Inventor With A Complicated, Troubling Legacy

Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an artist, inventor, and would-be-politician. While there was much to admire about his legacy and accomplishments, there was also much to condemn and deplore. Reading his biography, one might think (or even wish) that there were actually several different Morses. One was an inventor who helped bring telegraph technology and the earliest forms of electronic communication into broad usage in the U.S. and eventually abroad. Another was a romantic portraitist who studied abroad and arrived in Greenwich Village to become the first professor of painting in America at New York University, where he lived and painted at 100 Washington Square East. Yet another, more troubling Morse, shared and promoted many of the all-too-common nativist and racist sentiments of his time, seeking to become Mayor of New York on anti-immigrant and anti-Roman Catholic platforms in 1836, and arguing in his writings in the 1850s and 60s for the moral basis for slavery. But these were all the same Morse, and while he was much less successful in the latter endeavors than he was in the former ones (he earned only 1,496 votes in his Mayoral run), they are all part of the complicated, sometimes-inspiring and sometimes-repugnant legacy of our one-time neighbor.

Romantic-style painting by Samuel Morse of Washington Square Park

Samuel Morse was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Ann Breese, and Jedidiah Morse, a distinguished geographer and Congregational clergyman. Samuel attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then Yale College (now Yale University). His scholarship has been described as “indifferent” to all but the then-mysterious subject of electricity and the painting of miniature portraits. Morse went abroad to England to study portraiture, and on his return in 1825 he settled in New York City and joined the artist community of Greenwich Village, painting portraits that combined technical competence and a bold rendering of his subjects’ character with a touch of the Romanticism he had imbibed in England.

Early daguerreotype of Morse

Although often poor during those early years, Morse was sociable and at home with the intellectuals, the wealthy, the religiously orthodox, and the politically conservative. The circles in which he moved introduced him to prominent figures such as the French hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, whose attempts to promote liberal reform in Europe Morse (somewhat paradoxically and inexplicably) ardently endorsed, as well as the novelist James Fenimore Cooper.

In 1832, Morse became the first professor of painting and sculpture in America at what was then the fledgling NYU campus. Three years later he acquired studio space for himself and his students in the newly-built neo-Gothic University Building (demolished in 1894 to make way for the present Silver Center, home of the Grey Art Gallery). He was involved with all kinds of arts at NYU, including some of the earliest daguerreotypes (an early form of photography) ever taken.

The photo was taken in 1839 or 1840 from the rooftop studio of Samuel F.B. Morse and John Draper, who worked together at New York University. c/o Ephemeral New York

During that time, Morse also founded and named himself the first president of the National Academy of Design, which sponsored an art school and organized frequent public exhibitions of work by its members. The National Academy’s headquarters were first located at 663 Broadway near Bleecker, then moved at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street, and then in the 1850s and 1860s was located at 58 East 13th Street. The National Academy was soon joined by other arts organizations, the Century Association at 46 East Eighth Street (formerly 24 Clinton Place), and the Tenth Street Studio Building at 15 (later 51) 10th Street near Sixth Avenue. These organizations created a seat of arts and creativity in the Village that was world-renowned and world-changing.

Morse continued, even as his life in the arts was taking off, with his study of electricity. In 1838 he and his friend Alfred Vail developed the Morse Code. He would refine it to employ a short signal (the dot) and a long one (the dash) in combinations to spell out messages. He didn’t invent the telegraph, but his key improvements allowed the medium to be deployed on a broader level, transforming communications worldwide. Although the idea of an electric telegraph had been put forward in 1753 and electric telegraphs had been used to send messages over short distances as early as 1774, Morse believed that his was the first such proposal. He probably made his first working model by 1835. After lean, difficult years of lobbying, financial struggle, and technical improvements, Morse secured funding from Congress to build wires across the United States, and received a patent for his invention in 1844. On May 11th of that year, his telegraphed message from Baltimore to Washington was the first of its kind.

Morse with his invention

Following the routes of the quickly-spreading railroads, telegraph wires were strung across the nation and eventually, across the Atlantic Ocean, providing a nearly-instant means of communication between disparate towns, cities, states and nations for the first time. Newspapers joined forces as the Associated Press, to pool payments for telegraphed news from foreign locales. Railroads used the telegraph to coordinate train schedules and safety signaling. President Abraham Lincoln received battle reports at the White House via telegraph during the Civil War. And ordinary people used it to send important messages to loved ones as they traveled.

In 1847 Morse bought a country house which he called Locust Grove, an estate overlooking the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie. He had an Italian villa-style mansion built there, and spent his summers there with his large family of children and grandchildren, returning each winter to New York City.

A memorial statue to Morse and his invention in Central Park

Morse died on April 2, 1872, in New York City, having made advances in both the arts and in practical technology that truly transformed the world. Morse’s 1837 telegraph instrument is preserved by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., while his estate, Locust Grove, is now designated a national historic landmark.

Morse’s accomplishments in the field of electronic communication are well known (even those who have never seen or heard Morse Code are aware of its importance). His prominence in the arts is perhaps less well-known, as we tend to view the sciences and the arts as separate and perhaps even mutually exclusive realms, though his legacy there was great too. His abhorrently bigoted and pro-slavery views have been largely forgotten or overlooked over time, and had less of a lasting impact than his other accomplishments. But they nevertheless deserve to be remembered as part of what defined this paradoxical figure who once lived in our midst.


Morse Code in the Civil War

Even with the successful test in 1844, the government was still a little slow to adopt the technology. However, after about seven years, at least 50 telegraph companies were in operation.

The first transcontinental telegraph line was then finished by 1861, the same year the Civil War started. At this time the telegraph was still considered relatively new.

It turns out President Lincoln was an inventor himself, and he seemed to keep up with new technology. It was said that during the Civil War Lincoln used the telegraph as a command center.

He was able to gain a big advantage over the South because of his ability to quickly communicate straight to the battlefield.

There were fewer lines between states in the South and so Confederate President Jefferson Davis didn't have the same opportunity.

Near the end of the war, Abraham Lincoln himself sent a telegram to Virginia to tell the news of the capture of Richmond. This was just a week before he was assassinated in 1865.


Samuel Finley Breese Morse - History

Born in Charleston, Massachusetts, inventor and painter Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), graduated from Yale College in 1810. Morse attended the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England and began a successful career in painting in Europe and the United States. In 1832, Morse developed the concept of the single-wire telegraph and Morse code. In 1938, Morse proposed his patent to the U.S. Government and the Republic of Texas, but failed to gain sponsorship. Morse succeeded in securing funding from the U.S. Government after a successful demonstration in 1842.

Born in Vance County, North Carolina, Memucan Hunt (1807-1856) was a planter and businessman in Mississippi before joining the Texan Army during the Texas Revolution. In 1837, Hunt became the first Minister of Texas to the United States. A year later, President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed Hunt as Texas Secretary of the Navy.

Source: Neu, C. T. “Hunt, Memucan,” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed on February 17, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhu31.

Scope and Contents

The first of two, Samuel F. B. Morse Letters, 1839, 1860, written in 1839 by Memucan Hunt to Mirabeau B. Lamar, recounts an earlier letter from Morse to Hunt, offering the Republic of Texas sponsorship of Morse’s wire telegraph. In the second letter (1860) to Sam Houston, then governor of the state of Texas, Morse withdraws his 1839 offer as Texas was now part of the United States.


Samuel Morse Telegraph, Invention, Facts, Famous For, Quotes, Bio, Death Cause, Wife, Paintings, Industrial Revolution, Morse Code, Married, Kids, Life History

Samuel Morse Telegraph, Invention, Facts, Famous For, Quotes, Bio, Death Cause, Wife, Paintings, Industrial Revolution, Morse Code, Married, Kids, Life History

The creator of telegraphy Samuel Morse full name Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born on 27 April 1791 in Boston, US. Just as most inventors grew up in poverty & born into a poor family. As the child grew up, his parents started to feel that the child’s mind is very much spent on studies. But they had no means to teach him. However, the father fell in love with him and after admitting him to the school, she somehow managed to study her demand.

In this way, when he completed his schooling, there was some kind of arrangement for admission in the college as well, although the cost of studying in college was more than the school.

Along with studies, Samuel Finley Morse also had a desire to draw pictures. The camera was not invented until then. Paintings were painted on ivory. He also started drawing on ivory. He used to sell those pictures in the market and thus making his college expenses somewhat lighter, but due to lack of funds, he had to leave his college studies in the middle.

Finley Morse thought that he had left college, but what to do if he does now. In vain, he became a burden on his father and is sitting at home. So, he made the idea of ​​going to England, he collected money by asking for the demand from his friends, etc. for spending the way and went to England.

Stayed and studied in England for four years and when I came back home, then the same poverty. He started drawing and selling pictures. Did not work. Then he along with his brother made a water pump from which the water could be drawn up, but this work did not work as well and his financial condition remained the same.

Samuel Morse once again decided to leave the house and he went to Europe but his misfortune did not leave him, frustrated back to America. During the voyage in the ship in which he was making a return trip, he was informed that any kind of messages could be sent here and there by electric wires. Hearing this, Samuel Finley Morse decided to take up this task. He invented the language of the telegraph in his mind only.

Samuel Morse used to play with electric wires during his childhood. As soon as he reached home, he started using a messenger (telegraphy). But even for that, money was needed. Brothers, with some help from him, arranged electric wires and room. Samuel designed a device. God was pleased that in those days he got the position of professor in a college.

He used to get involved in his work as soon as he came from college. Seeing his dedication, one of his disciples offered him some financial help and he himself became involved in experimenting with her. That disciple of Samuel Morse was named Alfred Bell.

Finally Samuel Morse’s days revolved. Alfred Bell, fellow teacher Camble, and another disciple did this experiment for several days. These were his experiments in a room in the corner of Alfred Bell’s father’s factory. He started getting success. Finley was expressing his happiness to his father that the father said, “I will only obey when your message reaches the right place”.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse took a message from his father and together with his companions, he worked to teleport that message to the in-place. All my friends were very happy to know that the message has reached the place. Later, when the American government came to know about Finley’s machine, he was called.

The government wanted to benefit from his machine but there was some delay in carrying his expenses. Finally, it was arranged. Finlay had to work long hours to lay the electric wires. The wooden poles were wired. After all the preparations, the first public message was sent, “James G. Pollock has been nominated as the President of the United States.

This success of Samuel Morse made him famous all over the world. Thus, while constantly trying, he saw the face of success at the end. Finley died on 2 April 1872, but he himself became immortal by giving his immortal work to the world.


21. October 1, 1832–February 28, 1833
22. 1833–6
23. 1835–7
24. October 3, 1837–May 16, 1838
25. June, 1838–January 21, 1839
26. January 6, 1839–March 9, 1839
27. April 15, 1839–September 30, 1840
28. June 20, 1840–August 12, 1842
29. July 16, 1842–March 26, 1843
30. March 15, 1843–June 13, 1844
31. June 23, 1844–October 9, 1845
32. December 20, 1845–April 19, 1848
33. January 9, 1848–December 19, 1849
34. March 5, 1850–November 10, 1854
35. January 8, 1855–August 14, 1856
36. August 23, 1856–September 15, 1858
37. September 3, 1858–September 21, 1863
38. February 26, 1864–November 8, 1867
39. November 28, 1867–June 10, 1871
40. June 14, 1871–April 16, 1872.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse


Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

". Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American contributor to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, co-inventor of the Morse code, and an accomplished painter. "

". Samuel F.B. Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of a geographer and Pastor Jedidiah Morse (1761�) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese (1766�). "

". He supported himself financially by painting. "

". In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honors. "

". by the end of 1811, he gained admittance to the Royal Academy. "

". The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. In time the Morse code would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world, and is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data. "

". Morse married Lucretia Pickering Walker on September 29, 1819, in Concord, New Hampshire. She died on February 7, 1825, shortly after the birth of their fourth child (Susan b. 1819, Elizabeth b. 1821, Charles b. 1823, James b. 1825). His second wife was Sarah Elizabeth Griswold. They were married on August 10, 1848 in Utica, New York and had four children (Samuel b. 1849, Cornelia b. 1851, William b. 1853, Edward b. 1857). "

". Morse died of pneumonia at his home at 5 West 22nd Street, New York City on April 2, 1872, 25 days short of his 81st birthday. He was buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. "


Samuel Finley Breese Morse - History

Oil painting -> List of Painters -> Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Samuel F.B. Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of geographer and Pastor Jedidiah Morse (1761&ndash1826) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese (1766&ndash1828). Jedidiah was a great preacher of the Calvinist faith and supporter of the American Federalist party. He not only saw it as a great preserver of Puritan traditions (strict observance of the Sabbath), but believed in its idea of an alliance with Britain in regards to a strong central government. Jedidiah strongly believed in education within a Federalist framework alongside the instillation of Calvinist virtues, morals and prayers for his son. After attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Samuel Morse went on to Yale College to receive instruction in the subjects of religious philosophy, mathematics and science of horses. While at Yale, he attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He earned money by painting. In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Morse's Calvinist beliefs are evident in his painting the Landing of the Pilgrims, through the depiction of simple clothing as well as the austere facial features. This image captured the psychology of the Federalists Calvinists from England brought to the United States ideas of religion and government thus forever linking the two countries. More importantly, this particular work attracted the attention of the famous artist, Washington Allston. Allston wanted Morse to accompany him to England to meet the artist Benjamin West. An agreement for a three-year stay was made with Jedidiah, and young Morse set sail with Allston aboard the Lydia on July 15, 1811 (1).

Upon his arrival in England, Morse diligently worked to perfect painting techniques under Allston's watchful eye by the end of 1811, he gained admittance to the Royal Academy. At the Academy, he fell in love with the Neo-classical art of the Renaissance and paid close attention to Michelangelo and Raphael. After observing and practicing life drawing and absorbing its anatomical demands, the young artist successfully produced his masterpiece, the Dying Hercules.


Watch the video: Samuel FB Morse