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Thursday, February 7, 2013

"What hath God wrought?"

 
In a time of technology, simple things like sending a text message from one's cell phone asking "What's for dinner" or replying to an email via the internet, it seems  hard to imagine life without such tools.  
Communications once hand written on scrolls only to be hand delivered would be the only form of sending messages centuries ago.  Although, the words,  "What hath God wrought" would make history.  
Given an opportunity to prove his invention,  Samuel Morse asked Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of a dear friend to give him a message which she selected the 23 verse from Numbers XXIII of the Bible and the message was dispatched via hand-carried to Annapolis Junction (between Washington and Baltimore) where his partner, Alfred Vail, would receive the secret hand written message and wired it to the Capitol. 
Sending the lettering of Morse Code, the message soon spelled out the full phase which Annie had selected.  "What hath God wrought?"  This was the first news dispatched by electric telegraph. In the chamber of the old Supreme Court of the United States Capitol, witness observed the signal as it was received back from Baltimore transmitted via a wire line from 40 miles away. The invention was the telegraph.
Samuel Morse, a professor of arts and design at New York University proved that signals could be transmitted by wire using a pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet.  This moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper  which in turn became the invention of  Morse Code, in 1836.  Although, his telegraph message between Baltimore and the Capital would not come until the 24th of May, 1841. 
Soon, Samuel Morse and his associates would obtained private funding to extend their line to Philadelphia and New York. Small telegraph companies, meanwhile began functioning in the East, South, and Midwest. Dispatching trains by telegraph started in 1851, the same year Western Union began business. Western Union would build the first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, mainly along the rights-of-way off railroads.  

2 comments:

  1. Technology just keeps marching on. I remember well when I was in Junior High and all I wanted for Christmas was a clock radio – and I got it. We had one black phone and a black and white TV (1) and we got one channel good and one fair.

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    1. Imagine, once everyone sat and watch TV together in the family room (DEN)as we did not have a TV in every room, or a PC and smart phone? I remember party lines of that home phone.

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