|Birth Day:||April 27, 1791|
|Death Date:||Apr 2, 1872 (age 80)|
|Birth Place:||Boston, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Samuel Morse died on Apr 2, 1872 (age 80).
He supported himself while studying at Yale by selling his paintings and he graduated in 1810.
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 and was a member of the Society of Brothers in Unity. He supported himself by painting. In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
Morse expressed some of his Calvinist beliefs in his painting, Landing of the Pilgrims, through the depiction of simple clothing as well as the people's austere facial features. His image captured the psychology of the Federalists; Calvinists from England brought to North America ideas of religion and government, thus linking the two countries. This work attracted the attention of the notable artist, Washington Allston. Allston wanted Morse to accompany him to England to meet the artist Benjamin West. Allston arranged—with Morse's father—a three-year stay for painting study in England. The two men set sail aboard the Libya on July 15, 1811.
Critics have suggested that Jupiter represents God's omnipotence—watching every move that is made. Some call the portrait a moral teaching by Morse on infidelity. Although Marpessa fell victim, she realized that her eternal salvation was important and desisted from her wicked ways. Apollo shows no remorse for what he did but stands with a puzzled look. Many American paintings throughout the early nineteenth century had religious themes, and Morse was an early exemplar of this. Judgment of Jupiter allowed Morse to express his support of Anti-Federalism while maintaining his strong spiritual convictions. Benjamin West sought to present the Jupiter at another Royal Academy exhibition, but Morse's time had run out. He left England on August 21, 1815, to return to the United States and begin his full-time career as a painter.
Morse was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1815.
Morse married Lucretia Pickering Walker on September 29, 1818, in Concord, New Hampshire. She died on February 7, 1825, of a heart attack shortly after the birth of their third child. (Susan b. 1819, Charles b. 1823, James b. 1825). He married his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold 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 was commissioned to paint President James Monroe in 1820. He embodied Jeffersonian democracy by favoring the common man over the aristocrat.
The House of Representatives failed to draw a crowd when exhibited in New York City in 1823. By contrast, John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence had won popular acclaim a few years earlier. Viewers may have felt that the architecture of The House of Representatives overshadows the individuals, making it hard to appreciate the drama of what was happening.
In 1826, he helped found the National Academy of Design in New York City. He served as the Academy's president from 1826 to 1845 and again from 1861 to 1862.
From 1830 to 1832, Morse traveled and studied in Europe to improve his painting skills, visiting Italy, Switzerland, and France. During his time in Paris, he developed a friendship with the writer James Fennimore Cooper. As a project, he painted miniature copies of 38 of the Louvre's famous paintings on a single canvas (6 ft. x 9 ft), which he entitled The Gallery of the Louvre. He completed the work upon his return to the United States.
While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. He set aside his painting, The Gallery of the Louvre. 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, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.
Meanwhile, William Cooke and Professor Charles Wheatstone had learned of the Wilhelm Weber and Carl Gauss electromagnetic telegraph in 1833. They had reached the stage of launching a commercial telegraph prior to Morse, despite starting later. In England, Cooke became fascinated by electrical telegraphy in 1836, four years after Morse. Aided by his greater financial resources, Cooke abandoned his primary subject of anatomy and built a small electrical telegraph within three weeks. Wheatstone also was experimenting with telegraphy and (most importantly) understood that a single large battery would not carry a telegraphic signal over long distances. He theorized that numerous small batteries were far more successful and efficient in this task. (Wheatstone was building on the primary research of Joseph Henry, an American physicist.) Cooke and Wheatstone formed a partnership and patented the electrical telegraph in May 1837, and within a short time had provided the Great Western Railway with a 13-mile (21 km) stretch of telegraph. However, within a few years, Cooke and Wheatstone's multiple-wire signaling method would be overtaken by Morse's cheaper method.
In the same book, published in 1835 under the name of "Brutus", in speaking of "the foreign Emissaries of Popery re-warded in their own country," said : "Where is Bishop Kelly of Richmond, Va.? He also sojourns with us until his duties to foreign masters are performed, and then is rewarded by promotion." (Patrick Kelly was a native of Ireland, and the first bishop of Richmond, Virginia. When after a couple of years, differences regarding questions of jurisdiction arose between him and Ambrose Maréchal, Archbishop of Baltimore, Kelly was offered the recently vacant See of Waterford and Lismore in his homeland.)
Morse was a leader in the anti-Catholic and anti-immigration movement of the mid-19th century. In 1836, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York under the anti-immigrant Nativist Party's banner, receiving only 1,496 votes. When Morse visited Rome, he allegedly refused to take his hat off in the presence of the Pope.
At the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey on January 11, 1838, Morse and Vail made the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph. Although Morse and Alfred Vail had done most of the research and development in the ironworks facilities, they chose a nearby factory house as the demonstration site. Without the repeater, the range of the telegraph was limited to two miles (3.2 km), and the inventors had pulled two miles (3.2 km) of wires inside the factory house through an elaborate scheme. The first public transmission, with the message, "A patient waiter is no loser", was witnessed by a mostly local crowd.
Morse traveled to Washington, D.C. in 1838 seeking federal sponsorship for a telegraph line but was not successful. He went to Europe, seeking both sponsorship and patents, but in London discovered that Cooke and Wheatstone had already established priority. After his return to the US, Morse finally gained financial backing by Maine congressman Francis Ormand Jonathan Smith. This funding may be the first instance of government support to a private researcher, especially funding for applied (as opposed to basic or theoretical) research.
On a subsequent visit to Paris in 1839, Morse met Louis Daguerre. He became interested in the latter's daguerreotype—the first practical means of photography. Morse wrote a letter to the New York Observer describing the invention, which was published widely in the American press and provided broad awareness of the new technology. Mathew Brady, one of the earliest photographers in American history, famous for his depictions of the Civil War, initially studied under Morse and later took photographs of him.
Morse made his last trip to Washington, D.C., in December 1842, stringing "wires between two committee rooms in the Capitol, and sent messages back and forth" to demonstrate his telegraph system. Congress appropriated $30,000 in 1843 for construction of an experimental 38-mile (61 km) telegraph line between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore along the right-of-way of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. An impressive demonstration occurred on May 1, 1844, when news of the Whig Party's nomination of Henry Clay for U.S. president was telegraphed from the party's convention in Baltimore to the Capitol Building in Washington.
On May 24, 1844, the line was officially opened as Morse sent the now-famous words, "What hath God wrought," from the Supreme Court chamber in the basement of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to the B&O's Mount Clare Station in Baltimore. Annie Ellsworth chose these words from the Bible (Numbers 23:23); her father, U.S. Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, had championed Morse's invention and secured early funding for it. His telegraph could transmit thirty characters per minute.
In May 1845, the Magnetic Telegraph Company was formed in order to build telegraph lines from New York City toward Philadelphia; Boston; Buffalo, New York; and the Mississippi. Telegraphic lines rapidly spread throughout the United States in the next few years, with 12,000 miles of wire laid by 1850.
Morse received a patent for the telegraph in 1847, at the old Beylerbeyi Palace (the present Beylerbeyi Palace was built in 1861–1865 on the same location) in Istanbul, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid, who personally tested the new invention. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1849. The original patent went to the Breese side of the family after the death of Samuel Morse.
In an 1848 letter to a friend, Morse describes how vigorously he fought to be called the sole inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph despite the previous inventions.
The Morse telegraphic apparatus was officially adopted as the standard for European telegraphy in 1851. Only the United Kingdom (with its extensive overseas empire) kept the needle telegraph of Cooke and Wheatstone.
In the United States, Morse held his telegraph patent for many years, but it was both ignored and contested. In 1853, The Telegraph Patent case – O'Reilly v. Morse came before the U.S. Supreme Court where, after very lengthy investigation, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that Morse had been the first to combine the battery, electromagnetism, the electromagnet, and the correct battery configuration into a workable practical telegraph. However, in spite of this clear ruling, Morse still received no official recognition from the United States government.
In 1856, Morse went to Copenhagen and visited the Thorvaldsens Museum, where the sculptor's grave is in the inner courtyard. He was received by King Frederick VII, who decorated him with the Order of the Dannebrog for the telegraph. Morse expressed his wish to donate his Thorvaldsen portrait from 1831 in Rome to the king. The Thorvaldsen portrait today belongs to Margrethe II of Denmark.
Morse lent his support to Cyrus West Field's ambitious plan to construct the first transoceanic telegraph line. Morse had experimented with underwater telegraph circuits since 1842. He invested $10,000 in Field's Atlantic Telegraph Company, took a seat on its board of directors, and was appointed honorary "Electrician". In 1856, Morse traveled to London to help Charles Tilston Bright and Edward Whitehouse test a 2,000-mile-length of spooled cable.
In 1858, Morse introduced wired communication to Latin America when he established a telegraph system in Puerto Rico, then a Spanish Colony. Morse's oldest daughter, Susan Walker Morse (1819–1885), would often visit her uncle Charles Pickering Walker, who owned the Hacienda Concordia in the town of Guayama. During one of her visits, she met Edward Lind, a Danish merchant who worked in his brother-in-law's Hacienda La Henriqueta in the town of Arroyo. They later married. Lind purchased the Hacienda from his sister when she became a widow. Morse, who often spent his winters at the Hacienda with his daughter and son-in-law, set a two-mile telegraph line connecting his son-in-law's Hacienda to their house in Arroyo. The line was inaugurated on March 1, 1859, in a ceremony flanked by the Spanish and American flags. The first words transmitted by Samuel Morse that day in Puerto Rico were:
Assisted by the American ambassador in Paris, the governments of Europe were approached about their long neglect of Morse while their countries were using his invention. There was a widespread recognition that something must be done, and in 1858 Morse was awarded the sum of 400,000 French francs (equivalent to about $80,000 at the time) by the governments of France, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Piedmont, Russia, Sweden, Tuscany, and Turkey, each of which contributed a share according to the number of Morse instruments in use in each country. In 1858, he was also elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
After the first two cable-laying attempts failed, Field reorganized the project, removing Morse from direct involvement. Though the cable broke three times during the third attempt, it was successfully repaired, and the first transatlantic telegraph messages were sent in 1858. The cable failed after just three months of use. Though Field had to wait out the Civil War, the cable laid in 1866 proved more durable, and the era of reliable transatlantic telegraph service had begun.
Despite honors and financial awards received from foreign countries, there was no such recognition in the U.S. until he neared the end of his life when on June 10, 1871, a bronze statue of Samuel Morse was unveiled in Central Park, New York City. An engraved portrait of Morse appeared on the reverse side of the United States two-dollar bill silver certificate series of 1896. He was depicted along with Robert Fulton. An example can be seen on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's website in their "American Currency Exhibit":
He died in New York City on April 2, 1872, and was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death, his estate was valued at some $500,000 ($10.7 million today).
According to his The New York Times obituary published on April 3, 1872, Morse received respectively the decoration of the Atiq Nishan-i-Iftikhar (English: Order of Glory) [first medal on wearer's right depicted in photo of Morse with medals], set in diamonds, from Sultan Abdülmecid of Turkey (c.1847), a "golden snuff box containing the Prussian gold medal for scientific merit" from the King of Prussia (1851); the Great Gold Medal of Arts and Sciences from the King of Württemberg (1852); and the Great Golden Medal of Science and Arts from Emperor of Austria (1855); a cross of Chevalier in the Légion d'honneur from the Emperor of France; the Cross of a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog from the King of Denmark (1856); the Cross of Knight Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic, from the Queen of Spain, besides being elected member of innumerable scientific and art societies in this [United States] and other countries. Other awards include Order of the Tower and Sword from the kingdom of Portugal (1860), and Italy conferred on him the insignia of chevalier of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus in 1864. Morse's telegraph was recognized as an IEEE Milestone in 1988.
In 1975, Morse was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
On April 1, 2012, Google announced the release of "Gmail Tap", an April Fools' Day joke that allowed users to use Morse Code to send text from their mobile phones. Morse's great-great-grandnephew Reed Morse—a Google engineer—was instrumental in the prank, which became a real product.
Samuel had two wives, who were named Lucretia Pickering Walker and Sarah Elizabeth Griswold. Samuel had seven children between them, five sons and two daughters.
Currently, Samuel Morse is 231 years, 9 months and 3 days old. Samuel Morse will celebrate 232nd birthday on a Thursday 27th of April 2023. Below we countdown to Samuel Morse upcoming birthday.
Celebrating Morse Code Day
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April 27, 2015, marks 224th Anniversary of Samuel F.B. Morse’s Birthday
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio, connecting hams around the U.S. with news, information and resources.