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Telegraph Key and Sounder

Description

In 1843, Congress funded a 38-mile telegraph line along the B&O Railroad’s Washington Branch. On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse (1791–1872) used a telegraph key like this one to send the first long-distance telegraph message “What Hath God Wrought?” from the basement of the U.S. Capitol building to the B&O’s Mount Clare Shops in West Baltimore. His invention, and language known as “Morse Code” changed the world.

Date

circa 1870

Materials

Wood, metal, wire

Dimensions

8 L x 5 W x 4 H inches

Resource ID

10797

Credit Line

Gift of William Calvert Steuart

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture

Rights

This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.