Collection Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793-1919

Collection Highlights

The Library of Congress highlights select items that both influenced and directed Samuel F. B. Morse's growth and eventual invention of the telegraph.

  • Art and Travel

    These items highlight Morse's love of art, which motivated him to travel to Europe, where he became inspired to invent the electromagnetic telegraph.

  • Childhood and Family Life

    Journal entries and letters from Morse reveals a childhood full of curiousty for academia, as well as an era in early America plagued by high mortality rates.

  • Daguerreotype

    Morse was an early adopter of Louis Daguerre's photographic method and went on to teach this technique to the famous portrait photographer Mathew Brady.

  • Impact of the Telegraph

    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.

  • Invention of the Telegraph

    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.