Samuel Morse Day

Morse created a communication system that drove the world dotty. And dashy.

You know him best as the inventor who made the telegraph successful throughout 19th century America, but Samuel Morse, born today in 1791, was also an artist, trained at the Royal Academy in England. His portrait work became well-known, and his attention for detail sparked an interest in inventing. He and his brother submitted three different patents before turning his attention to the telegraph, which was already in different forms of development by English, Russian and German inventors.

Morse’s idea of using electromagnetic energy to record dots and dashes revolutionized the telegraph and made it practical for everyday use. He also came up with a code of dots and dashes for communication, and even went to Congress to request money for a nationwide telegraph system. Without Morse’s dedication, you could be sending those LOLs via snail mail today.