Morse Machine

Early on there were many competing systems and languages which attempted to become the universal telegraph communicator. One of the systems was created in France in the late nineteenth century by Digney Fres., a Paris based instrument maker, who is known to have made a variety of telegraph instruments including Morse registers. The dots and dashes of Morse Code as an alphabet were employed in this Digney System, and Morse Code eventually became its standard language.

The research of Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry on electromagnetic phenomena in 1831 inspired the American painter Samuel Morse to devise a telegraph receiver. In March 1843 the American congress approved financial assistance for the building of an electric telegraph system. He started this work with a trial version of fourty miles along the Baltimore &Ohio-railway. The first telegraphic message was sent on May 27, 1844. The newspaper “Baltimore Patriot” was enthusiastic about this fast communication technology: “Practically, this is the elimination of space.” The letters were transmitted using the Morse code, a system of long and short signals developed by Morse himself. Only three days after its successful inception, the telegraphic system was opened to the public, at an initial fee of one cent per word. Morse code, requiring no modulation, can be used with very basic radio equipment in rough conditions. It is still used by maritime and aeronautic services and by ham radio operators.