Saturday, April 27, 2013
Dots & Dashes, Right Back-Atcha
Dots and dashes, right back-atcha! Today (April 27) is Morse Code Day, honoring the birth of Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872), an accomplished artist who developed the first commercially successful electromagnetic telegraph system. He created Morse Code as a means of communicating letters of the alphabet in dots and dashes, which were sounds of varying lengths (assigned to each letter) that could be strung together as messages. The sounds were made by closing an electrical contact on a telegraph key, holding it down for different fractional lengths of time to make the sound shorter or longer.
The most famous Morse Code signal, known to most human children, is the distress call S.O.S. (save our ship), which, when written out, looks like this: ... --- ... (three dots, three dashes, three dots). It sounds like this.
International Morse Code Chart
(Click Image to Bigify)
To celebrate, we're reprising one of our book trailers featuring a history of the telegraph system.
MPL Book Trailer #79
The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage
The book is available in our Evergreen Indiana online catalog. Currently, the book is on display with a QR code attached, so you may scan it and watch the book trailer above. Or your could just watch it here. It's your call.
Your Roving Reporter On The Go,
Cauli Le Chat
P.S. Telegraphs always remind moi of "Western Union" (1967), by the Five Americans, shown in this video clip performing their biggest hit tune on the Steve Allen Show. The clip below is a fan video using the studio recording (1967).