Beyond Words - Language Blog

Morse Code . _ . | _ _ _ | _ . _ . | _ . _ | …

As you might have guessed from the colorful dots and dashes above the Google search bar today, it’s Samuel Morse’s birthday. Morse code was created by the American painter and inventor in the early 19th century. Morse perfected his electromagnetic telegraph, and by 1836 transmitted the first long-distance message from Washington to Baltimore, which playfully read, “What hath God wrought?”

Morse’s telegraph machine was the first device to convey a messages using electricity; the composer coded the message and tapped it in telegraph key. Then, the telegraph converted the dots and dashes used in coding into electrical impulses carried through telegraph wires. Finally, the recipient of the telegraph received those electrical impulses already converted into dots and dashes on a paper tape.

Morse code played a fundamental role in the history of aviation as a form of plane-to-plane and plane-to-controller communication. The code itself may interest language lovers as one of the most useful international systems of writing and communication.

Though other forms of communication have replaced Morse code in aviation, the system of dots and dashes remains popular with amateur radio operators and aviation enthusiasts. For a look at Morse code, check out the alphabet below:

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Comments

  1. I really think that the Morse Code is an amazing invention! I am doing a speech on inventions and this was the first one that I saw that really caught my eye. If there is any tips that you could give me about the Morse Code I would appreciate it. I will come back to the website and see if anyone has commented on how to help me out. I would enjoy knowing as much as I possibly could about this invention because I think it is just so very interesting. I don’t have more of a passion for anything. Thanks again!

  2. Back in the late 40s my dad was a weatherman and he had a radio receiver at home where all morse messages from 500 miles around arrive every 7AM. From those codes he would gather the info to draw his weather charts to predict the coming weather.
    He had a japanese operator by the name Tanaka that he used to convert the morse signals into simple text indicating transmitting stations and their local weather conditions, such as wind direction, velocity, barometric pressure, dew point, humidity and sky conditions at the time. I woke up every morning at the sound of Morse signals, so I could go to school early.
    Sounds hard to forget, Thanks Mr. Morse, you were a cool dude.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *