may 1, 1837 - The Electric Telegraph
Since 1600 various individuals had experimented with the natural phenomenon of electricity but none of them had made any significant practical application.
During the 1800s a small number of scientists independently started to develop machines whereby an electrical current could be used to move a small needle or wire to indicate a letter of the alphabet. After an electrical current was given from the "sender", someone positioned by the "receiver" could log each letter and thus write out the words or message being communicated.
This general concept was worked upon for around thirty years before finally a commercially successful system was patented in 1837 known as the "electric telegraph." Its developer was an American inventor named Samuel Morse and his assistant Alfred Vail. Together these men created a machine where the electrical current caused a needle to emboss dots and dashes onto a moving piece of paper - these dots and dashes resembled letters and numbers in a code later called "Morse code."
Over in the United Kingdom, a different telegraph was developed by inventors William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone which involved a number of different needles which pointed to letters on a dial. After both of these inventions were independently patented in 1837, long distance communication spread throughout the UK and the US . The development of these telegraphs signalled the beginning of electrical engineering which would quickly become a profession during the 1800s and eventually the practical application of electricity would
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History of Human Civilization
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