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Friday, June 20, 2008

A simple matter of dots and dashes

This day in history: Samuel Morse patents the Morse Code.

Samuel F.B. Morse receives a U.S. patent for his dot-dash telegraphy signals, known to the world as Morse code.

The code Morse devised in partnership with Alfred Vail uses a system of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. It went into practical use in 1844, after he and Vail produced a working electromagnetic telegraph transmitter. Vail worked on various refinements to the transmitter before leaving the business altogether in 1848, feeling that he was being low-balled on his salary.