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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Samuel F. B. Morse Quotes

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Samuel F. B. Morse
(27 Apr 1791 - 2 Apr 1872)

American artist and inventor who is famous for developing the Morse Code (1838) and independently perfecting an electric telegraph (1832-35). He spent the first part of his life as a portrait artist, and did not turn to science until 1832.

Science Quotes by Samuel F. B. Morse (6 quotes)

I have been so constantly under the necessity of watching the movements of the most unprincipled set of pirates I have ever known, that all my time has been occupied in defense, in putting evidence into something like legal shape that I am the inventor of the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph.
From a letter to his brother describing the challenge of defending his patents (19 Apr 1848).
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals (1914), vol.2, 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Patent (25)  |  Telegraph (32)

It baptised the American telegraph with the name of its Author.
Comment on the choice of a biblical text as the inaugural message.
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Cited in Emma Miller Bolenius, Advanced Lessons in Everyday English (1921), quoting from Francis M. Perry, Four American Inventors.
Science quotes on:  |  Telegraph (32)

My price is five dollars for a miniature on ivory, and I have engaged three or four at that price. My price for profiles is one dollar, and everybody is willing to engage me at that price.
Explaining how as an artist he would create income to pay his debts while at college.
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Letter to his parents (25 Jun 1810). Samuel F.B. Morse: His Letters and Journals (1914), vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (232)

We must raise the salaries of our operators or they will all be taken from us, that is, all that are good for anything. You will recollect that, at the first meeting of the Board of Directors, I took the ground that 'it was our policy to make the office of operator desirable, to pay operators well and make their situation so agreeable that intelligent men and men of character will seek the place and dread to lose it.' I still think so, and, depend upon it, it is the soundest economy to act on this principle.
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Letter to T.S. Faxton, one of his lieutenants (15 Mar 1848). Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals (1914), vol. 2, 274.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (232)  |  Telegraph (32)

What Hath God Wrought.
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals (1914), vol. 2, 222. This was the message transmitted to inaugurate the first U.S. telegraph line (24 May 1844). The biblical text, from Numbers, 23:23, was selected by Annie Ellsworth, daughter of the Commissioner of Patents.
Science quotes on:  |  Telegraph (32)

[It would not be long] ere the whole surface of this country would be channelled for those nerves which are to diffuse, with the speed of thought, a knowledge of all that is occurring throughout the land, making, in fact, one neighborhood of the whole country.
— Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel F.B. Morse: His Letters and Journals (1914), vol. 2, 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (76)  |  Country (147)  |  Internet (14)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Neighborhood (7)  |  Nerve (70)  |  Telegraph (32)  |  Thought (546)

Quotes by others about Samuel F. B. Morse (3)

I watched his countenance closely, to see if he was not deranged ... and I was assured by other senators after he left the room that they had no confidence in it.
Reminiscence by Oliver Hampton Smith, Senator for Indiana, upon meeting Morse at the demonstration of his telegraph to the U.S. Congress in 1842.
Early Indiana Trials and Sketches (1858), 413
Science quotes on:  |  Invention (324)  |  Telegraph (32)

The privilege is not allowed even to genius in this world to inspect its own elements, and read its own destiny, and it is perhaps well for mankid that it is so. Could we lift the curtain which hides our future lives, and glance hastily at the misfortunes, the vexations, and the disappointments which await us, we should be discouraged from attempting the performance of even of such deeds as are destined eventually to crown us with honor.
In a book of his reminiscenses, Oliver Hampton Smith, years after his first meeting with Morse, described the inventor - who had by then overcome the initial scepticism over his invention, but instead needed to vigorously defend his exclusive right of property in the magnetic telegraph.
Early Indiana Trials and Sketches (1858), 414.
Science quotes on:  |  Genius (249)  |  Telegraph (32)

Samuel Morse = Here Come Dots.
From 'The Anagram Hall of Fame' on the wordsmith.org website.
Science quotes on:  |  Coming (10)  |  Dot (11)

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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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