v2 How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet - Miscellaneous 2023

How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet

Table of contents:

How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet
How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet
Anonim

Morse code was a revolutionary development at one time. She was widely used in trade and war, sent personal messages with her help, and even … talked with deceased relatives! It was one of the crucial steps in creating a technology that everyone today takes for granted. Here are some interesting little-known facts about Morse code and its impact on modern life.

1. The creation of the Morse code was inspired by a tragic event

Morse code was invented by Samuel FB Morse. He was a very gifted artist and inventor. This idea was pushed by Samuel's personal tragedy. The fact is that once a messenger delivered a message to Morse that his wife was seriously ill. This message took so long to deliver that by the time the inventor returned home, his wife had not only died, but was also buried.

Samuel Morse and his original telegraph

Experiments with an electromagnetic field made the idea complete. Morse and his assistant, Alfred Lewis Weil, set about creating an electromagnetic machine that would react to an electric current sent along the wires. The first message they passed was: "A patient waiter doesn't mean a loser."

The first test of the long-distance telegraph was carried out on May 24, 1844. Standing in front of government officials, Samuel (based in Washington, DC) sent a message to Alfred (based in Baltimore). One observer suggested the following text: "What did God create?" These words flew nearly seven dozen kilometers and were recorded on paper tape.

A device for transmitting signals

Morse's invention reached its goal. It was now minutes, not days, between sending a message and receiving it. The traditional Pony Express has officially ceased operations. This happened in 1861 after the telegraph and Morse code became more popular methods of communication.

2. Today's Morse code has little to do with what was invented by Samuel Morse

Morse code assigned short and long signals to letters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters. Samuel's own code originally only conveyed numbers. It was Alfred Lewis Weil who added the ability to communicate with letters and special characters. He took the time to study how often each letter was used in the English language. He then assigned the shortest marks to the most common.

Photo from the National Archives of the Netherlands

Since this code was originally invented in America, at first it was called American Morse code or Railroad Morse code. It was often used on the railroad. Over time, the code has been simplified to make it more user-friendly. Eventually, the International Morse Code was created in 1865. It has been adapted to create a Japanese version of the Wabun code and a Korean version of SKATS (Korean Alphabet Standard Transliteration System).

Morse code

3. Morse code is not a language, but it can be spoken

It is important to note that Morse code is not a language because it is used to encode existing languages ​​for conveying messages. Initially, everything worked as follows: electrical impulses started the operation of the machine, which made indentations on a sheet of paper. Then the operator read them and converted them into words.During its operation, the machine made different sounds when it marked a dot or dash. Over time, telegraph operators began to translate clicks into dots and dashes by simply listening to them and writing them down by hand.

After that, the information was sent in the form of a sound code. When operators talked about messages received, they used “di” or “dit” for a period and “dah” for a dash. This is how another new method of transferring Morse code appeared. Skilled telegraphers could listen to and understand the code at over 40 words per minute.

4. The SOS message was invented specifically for Morse code

Guglielmo Marconi founded Wireless Telegraph and Signal Co. Ltd. in 1897. He noticed that ships and lighthouses were in great need of quick communication. The cable network was not available to them. Marconi developed a special wireless technology and it was widely used on ships. In the early 1900s, sailors decided that it would be nice to have an international distress signal. In 1906, the International Radiotelegraph Convention decided that SOS would be the best choice. It was pretty simple: three dots, three dashes, three dots.

Many people think that this phrase means "save our souls" or "save our ship." In fact, it was chosen only because it is easy to remember and easy to recognize.

5. Morse code saved lives aboard the Titanic

In April 1912, one of the worst disasters at sea occurred. As a result of the collision of the Titanic with an iceberg, the ship sank, and more than 1,500 of the 2,224 passengers on the ship were killed. The survivors owe this happiness to Morse code. It was she who was used to send a distress signal. This signal was received by the liner Cunard Carpathia, which came to the rescue. At that time, most ships had a Morse code setup, which was operated by telegraphers trained at the Marconi company.

The only known photograph of the Titanic's radio room

At the time, it was quite fashionable among passengers to ask Marconi operators to send private messages on their behalf. Without a specific, dedicated emergency frequency, this resulted in the Titanic's distress signal being attenuated. The airwaves were filled with useless messages. Because of this, many ships simply did not hear him. It was fortunate that Harold Cottam heard him on the Carpathia. The ship changed course and heroically covered a huge distance in just four hours, hurrying to help.

Attentive viewers watching the 1997 movie Titanic may have noticed that the captain is instructing senior wireless operator Jack Phillips to send a CQD distress call. This code was adopted by the Marconi company before the SOS decision was made in 1908. It was this text that was still used by some ships after 1908.

Most interestingly, a scene was cut from the tape when, after the captain left, Harold Bride (assistant operator) said to Phillips: “Send an SOS signal. This is new code, and this may be our last chance. " This is a reference to a real conversation that took place between the two men at the time.

6. Morse code has inspired many musicians

Morse code is often included in their songs by many musicians. For example, at the end of "London Calling" by The Clash, Mick Jones plays a Morse code string on his guitar, whose rhythm sounds like SOS. In Kraftwerk's only piece, Radioactivity, the word "radioactivity" is pronounced using Morse code.

Perhaps the most famous incorporation of Morse code into music was "Better Days" by Natalia Gutierrez and Angelo. This song was created specifically to convey a message to captured soldiers held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. It said: “19 people were saved. You are next. Don't lose hope. " Many inmates later confirmed that they heard the message and that it inspired them. Many escaped, others were rescued.

7. The last cry before eternal silence

French naval recruits study Morse code in England, circa 1943

As technology developed, Morse code gradually lost its relevance.When the French Navy officially ceased its use on January 31, 1997, the French Navy chose the following poignant lines as their last message: “Calling everyone. This is our last cry before eternal silence."

The last commercial Morse code message was sent to the United States on July 12, 1999, from the Globe Wireless main station near San Francisco. The operator used the first Morse message: "What did God create?" At the end, there was a special sign meaning "termination of contact".

Today, Morse code is practically not used, but that does not mean at all that it has become useless. Radio amateurs continue to use this code. In addition, Morse code is useful to know in case of an unforeseen dangerous situation. After all, the traditional means of communication today can fail. With Morse code, you can send messages using a regular flashlight or even just blinking your eyes. Ships use the alphabet to communicate during radio silence.

2nd Class Quartermaster Tony Evans of Houston, Texas sends Morse code signals

Despite the fact that the significance of this system is not so great today. Many people learn it only as a fun skill or hobby. But to deny the impact of Morse code on the history of technology and humanity in general would be foolish.

Read more about how the Titanic passengers were rescued in our article. 5 curious little-known facts about the ship that saved the passengers of the Titanic: The Carpathia rushes to the rescue.

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How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet - Miscellaneous 2023

How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet

Table of contents:

How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet
How Samuel Morse's personal tragedy pushed him to create the world's most famous alphabet
Anonim

Morse code was a revolutionary development at one time. She was widely used in trade and war, sent personal messages with her help, and even … talked with deceased relatives! It was one of the crucial steps in creating a technology that everyone today takes for granted. Here are some interesting little-known facts about Morse code and its impact on modern life.

1. The creation of the Morse code was inspired by a tragic event

Morse code was invented by Samuel FB Morse. He was a very gifted artist and inventor. This idea was pushed by Samuel's personal tragedy. The fact is that once a messenger delivered a message to Morse that his wife was seriously ill. This message took so long to deliver that by the time the inventor returned home, his wife had not only died, but was also buried.

Samuel Morse and his original telegraph

Experiments with an electromagnetic field made the idea complete. Morse and his assistant, Alfred Lewis Weil, set about creating an electromagnetic machine that would react to an electric current sent along the wires. The first message they passed was: "A patient waiter doesn't mean a loser."

The first test of the long-distance telegraph was carried out on May 24, 1844. Standing in front of government officials, Samuel (based in Washington, DC) sent a message to Alfred (based in Baltimore). One observer suggested the following text: "What did God create?" These words flew nearly seven dozen kilometers and were recorded on paper tape.

A device for transmitting signals

Morse's invention reached its goal. It was now minutes, not days, between sending a message and receiving it. The traditional Pony Express has officially ceased operations. This happened in 1861 after the telegraph and Morse code became more popular methods of communication.

2. Today's Morse code has little to do with what was invented by Samuel Morse

Morse code assigned short and long signals to letters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters. Samuel's own code originally only conveyed numbers. It was Alfred Lewis Weil who added the ability to communicate with letters and special characters. He took the time to study how often each letter was used in the English language. He then assigned the shortest marks to the most common.

Photo from the National Archives of the Netherlands

Since this code was originally invented in America, at first it was called American Morse code or Railroad Morse code. It was often used on the railroad. Over time, the code has been simplified to make it more user-friendly. Eventually, the International Morse Code was created in 1865. It has been adapted to create a Japanese version of the Wabun code and a Korean version of SKATS (Korean Alphabet Standard Transliteration System).

Morse code

3. Morse code is not a language, but it can be spoken

It is important to note that Morse code is not a language because it is used to encode existing languages ​​for conveying messages. Initially, everything worked as follows: electrical impulses started the operation of the machine, which made indentations on a sheet of paper. Then the operator read them and converted them into words.During its operation, the machine made different sounds when it marked a dot or dash. Over time, telegraph operators began to translate clicks into dots and dashes by simply listening to them and writing them down by hand.

After that, the information was sent in the form of a sound code. When operators talked about messages received, they used “di” or “dit” for a period and “dah” for a dash. This is how another new method of transferring Morse code appeared. Skilled telegraphers could listen to and understand the code at over 40 words per minute.

4. The SOS message was invented specifically for Morse code

Guglielmo Marconi founded Wireless Telegraph and Signal Co. Ltd. in 1897. He noticed that ships and lighthouses were in great need of quick communication. The cable network was not available to them. Marconi developed a special wireless technology and it was widely used on ships. In the early 1900s, sailors decided that it would be nice to have an international distress signal. In 1906, the International Radiotelegraph Convention decided that SOS would be the best choice. It was pretty simple: three dots, three dashes, three dots.

Many people think that this phrase means "save our souls" or "save our ship." In fact, it was chosen only because it is easy to remember and easy to recognize.

5. Morse code saved lives aboard the Titanic

In April 1912, one of the worst disasters at sea occurred. As a result of the collision of the Titanic with an iceberg, the ship sank, and more than 1,500 of the 2,224 passengers on the ship were killed. The survivors owe this happiness to Morse code. It was she who was used to send a distress signal. This signal was received by the liner Cunard Carpathia, which came to the rescue. At that time, most ships had a Morse code setup, which was operated by telegraphers trained at the Marconi company.

The only known photograph of the Titanic's radio room

At the time, it was quite fashionable among passengers to ask Marconi operators to send private messages on their behalf. Without a specific, dedicated emergency frequency, this resulted in the Titanic's distress signal being attenuated. The airwaves were filled with useless messages. Because of this, many ships simply did not hear him. It was fortunate that Harold Cottam heard him on the Carpathia. The ship changed course and heroically covered a huge distance in just four hours, hurrying to help.

Attentive viewers watching the 1997 movie Titanic may have noticed that the captain is instructing senior wireless operator Jack Phillips to send a CQD distress call. This code was adopted by the Marconi company before the SOS decision was made in 1908. It was this text that was still used by some ships after 1908.

Most interestingly, a scene was cut from the tape when, after the captain left, Harold Bride (assistant operator) said to Phillips: “Send an SOS signal. This is new code, and this may be our last chance. " This is a reference to a real conversation that took place between the two men at the time.

6. Morse code has inspired many musicians

Morse code is often included in their songs by many musicians. For example, at the end of "London Calling" by The Clash, Mick Jones plays a Morse code string on his guitar, whose rhythm sounds like SOS. In Kraftwerk's only piece, Radioactivity, the word "radioactivity" is pronounced using Morse code.

Perhaps the most famous incorporation of Morse code into music was "Better Days" by Natalia Gutierrez and Angelo. This song was created specifically to convey a message to captured soldiers held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. It said: “19 people were saved. You are next. Don't lose hope. " Many inmates later confirmed that they heard the message and that it inspired them. Many escaped, others were rescued.

7. The last cry before eternal silence

French naval recruits study Morse code in England, circa 1943

As technology developed, Morse code gradually lost its relevance.When the French Navy officially ceased its use on January 31, 1997, the French Navy chose the following poignant lines as their last message: “Calling everyone. This is our last cry before eternal silence."

The last commercial Morse code message was sent to the United States on July 12, 1999, from the Globe Wireless main station near San Francisco. The operator used the first Morse message: "What did God create?" At the end, there was a special sign meaning "termination of contact".

Today, Morse code is practically not used, but that does not mean at all that it has become useless. Radio amateurs continue to use this code. In addition, Morse code is useful to know in case of an unforeseen dangerous situation. After all, the traditional means of communication today can fail. With Morse code, you can send messages using a regular flashlight or even just blinking your eyes. Ships use the alphabet to communicate during radio silence.

2nd Class Quartermaster Tony Evans of Houston, Texas sends Morse code signals

Despite the fact that the significance of this system is not so great today. Many people learn it only as a fun skill or hobby. But to deny the impact of Morse code on the history of technology and humanity in general would be foolish.

Read more about how the Titanic passengers were rescued in our article. 5 curious little-known facts about the ship that saved the passengers of the Titanic: The Carpathia rushes to the rescue.

Popular by topic