Morse tape recorder with tape drum, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) was an American artist and inventor, who in 1832 conceived the idea of the magnetic telegraph. He later exhibited his idea to Congres and was awarded $30,000 to build an experimental telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore in the United States. He sent the first telegraphic mesage in 1844. He also evolved a code for use with his telegraph, using a dot and dash system to represent the letters in the English alphabet and the ten digits, which became known as Morse code and was widely adopted. Shown with the lid open to reveal the tape drum.