Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), US inventor. Morse invented the electric telegraph (equipment at right) and the Morse code. He started his career as a painter, but developed an interest in the study of electricity. From 1832 he worked to develop the electric telegraph and increase its range. He demonstrated his code, a series of dots and dashes representing each letter, in 1838. After gaining financial support, he transmitted the first telegraph message on 24 May 1844, along the new line linking Washington DC and Baltimore, USA.
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