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Painters often die poor (the world often takes a while to catch up). Samuel Finley Breese Morse was not one of those. He was stinkin’ rich when he died, which was A) good for him and B) good for his heirs because Morse code isn’t in high demand these days.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse began his career as a painter. Then he decided to invent an electric telegraph. On January 6, 1838 Samuel first demonstrated the telegraph. It was not an instant success since no one knew Morse Code and so S.F.B.M. had to send and then decode his own message.

In 1843, Morse convinced Congress to build the first telegraph line from WDC to Baltimore, MD. Interestingly, this was the last time Congress ever agreed to anything.

Morse Code Dear Kid Love Mom. DearKidLoveMom.comThe first message Morse sent over the line was not “Dear Kid Love Mom.” I have no idea why Morse chose something else, but he chose to send the message “What hath God wrought!”

Interesting Fact: Telegraph companies typically charged by the word, so people got very concise with their messages (the prelude to texting). They also charged for punctuation so people used the word STOP (which was free) instead of periods STOP

In 1933, Western Union launched singing telegrams and several thousand bad jokes and spoofs STOP

Enter long-distance phone calls and telegraph messages STOPped

Western Union delivered its final telegram January 2006.

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