1844 - Samuel F.B. Morse
transmits a message from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opens America's first telegraph line.
However, those techniques were rendered nearly obsolete in May of 1844, when Samuel F.B. Morse
successfully operated the first telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
To be sure, the government's protection of intellectual property rights through patents was important, but with that exception, most of the great innovators of the 19th and early 20th centuries--Cyrus McCormick, John Deere, Charles Goodyear, Samuel F.B. Morse
, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright brothers, George Westinghouse, Isaac Singer--got essentially no help from the federal government.
On May 24, 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse
transmitted the message "What hath God wrought'' from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.
* Morse code was created by Samuel F.B. Morse
in the early 1840s.
In Chapter 5 the story of the telegraph is told in some detail, but it does not resemble the usual tale of Samuel F.B. Morse
and his code.
Both Wheatstone and Cooke viewed their device as "an improvement to the [already-existing, so-called] electromagnetic telegraph" not as a new device-businessman Samuel F.B. Morse
and the physicist Joseph Henry of the United States developed their own, simpler version of the electrical telegraph, independently.
A section on "representative Americans" consists of biographies of people such as Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Henry Ward Beecher, Red Cloud, and Samuel F.B. Morse
. Some facsimiles and excerpts from primary source documents are included; examples are The Homestead Act, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and amendments to the Constitution.