Long before Samuel F. B. Morse electrically transmitted his famous message 'What hath God wrought?' from Washington to Baltimore on May 24, 1844, there were signaling systems that enabled people to communicate over distances.
Approximately 6,500 items from the Samuel F. B. Morse Papers in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress have been digitized, including correspondence, diaries, printed matter, maps, drawings and miscellany. These document Morse's invention of the electromagnetic telegraph, his participation in the development of telegraph systems in the United States and abroad, his career as a painter, his family life, his travels, and ...
Morse needed technical and financial assistance in the beginning, and was also able to get funding from the U.S. government. These items also detail how he came up with the Morse Code and the simplification of the telegraph to use acoustic signals instead of paper printed codes.
The significance of the telegraph was something Morse foresaw, and he knew how the technology would have to be handled to prevent misuse. He also earned great accolades from around the world for his invention.