Samuel Morse


Samuel Morse Essay, Research Paper

Early Life

Samuel Morse: a man, an artist, and an inventor. He knew as a childhood love, he was an

artist. But the thing he did not know was that out of his love of art and curiosity would come

an invention. His invention, now obsolete, was a great weapon of war and means of

communication for everyone. Born April 27, 1791, in Charleston, Mass. Morse was the

oldest son of Rev. Jedidiah Morse and Elizabeth Ann Breese. From early on in his

childhood he had a talent in his art. At the age of eight Morse was taken to Phillips

Academy, where his father was a trustee. He was taken to Phillips Academy, where his

father was a trustee. He was unhappy under their rule, and twice as homesick, so he fled

back to Charleston. He entered Yale at 1805, was called home, and did not graduate till

1810. His classmates at Yale admired his art, and he was unknown for his miniatures in

ivory. After his graduation all he wanted to do was study art. His father opposed the idea.

That was the start of all his work.

Hard work had its rewards. His first achievement was of his first love…. Art! Morse

modeled a figure of Hercules in clay. A professor liked it so much, he told Morse to enter it

in a competition. He won the gold medal. Morse submitted another painting, and it was

among the top nine out of the thousands in the exhibit. He returned to Boston hoping to sell

his art. He went through many years before he came the well-known portrait painter.

Socially Morse was successful, but people visited his studio to see his art, but not buy it.

As a young artist in London, he disdained portrait painting. Portraits are all Americans

would buy. Morse wanted to do more then paint portraits. He wanted to do historical

pictures. There his love for art deflated.

Morse became interested in telegraph in 1832. There was lots of work to do. The work

wasn’t easy, and he did know how long it would be till Congress accepted. Morse had no

money so he couldn’t buy insulated wire. After five years of work, he was ready to

demonstrate the telegraph. He hoped the men who saw it would like it and invest. Those

who did see it found it amusing but did not invest. Watching the demonstration was a

university student Alfred Vail. His father and brother had an iron and brass work. Vail

promised to build a sturdier model of the telegraph, so Morse made him a partner. In 1838,

Morse took the new telegraph to Washington to get money from the Congress to test it.

They refused. In 1842 he prepared a dramatic presentation. Using tar, pitch, and rubber, he

waterproofed two miles of wire. He strung the rope underwater. In front of crowds, a ship

caught the line and cut it. In 1843 he made one more attempt to interest Congress. They

passed a 30,000 bill to test it. On May 24, 1844 Morse tapped out his famous message,

“What hath God wrought.” Within twelve years Morse and his telegraph were known

throughout the United States and Europe. Telegraph companies gave banquets to Morse.

Morse won wealth and fame. A group of European countries gave him a cash reward of

400,000 francs. Morse was an honorary member of society. At that time he made an effort

to paint but saw the skill was left. Telegraph operators of America gave him the honor of

unveiling a statue of him. His health was now failing. The statue was unveiled on June 10,

1871; he died the next year.

Morse: the inventor whose death was commemorated. Though his invention is now

obsolete, he remains the greatest figure in the history of telegraph. Recognizing him as an

artist has come slowly. He was the long time forgotten painter. In the minds of people of his

time, he was a great speaker, a quack maybe. He spoke of his dream and made it happen.

Morse was a long motivated man. Never stopping, never giving up. Only improving his

device, till he got personal and world satisfaction. A man many people should look to, to

see why you should never give up. That is why he is still in the minds of Congress today.

He is forgotten role model of people. He never did or could get enough recognition. Just

improving the world a little more. Samuel Morse: a man, an artist, an inventor, and a

quack; also a man of dreams. He is “The Forgotten Painter.”


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