Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 588 pages of information about Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals.

Two other young Americans, Charles Robinson and Charles L. Chapin, were also travelling around Europe at this time for the purpose of introducing Morse’s invention, but, while all these efforts resulted in the ultimate adoption by all the nations of Europe, and then of the world, of this system, the superiority of which all were compelled, sometimes reluctantly, to admit, no arrangement was made by which Morse and his co-proprietors benefited financially.  The gain in fame was great, in money nil.  It was, therefore, with mixed feelings that Morse wrote to his brother from Paris on November 1:—­

“I am still gratified in verifying the fact that my Telegraph is ahead of all the other systems proposed.  Wheatstone’s is not adopted here.  The line from Paris to Rouen is not on his plan, but is an experimental line of the Governmental Commission.  I went to see it yesterday with my old friend the Administrator-in-Chief of the Telegraphs of France, Mr. Poy, who is one of the committee to decide on the best mode for France.  The system on this line is his modification....  I have had a long interview with M. Arago.  He is the same affable and polite man as in 1839.  He is a warm friend of mine and contends for priority in my favor, and is also partial to my telegraphic system as the best.  He is President of the Commission and is going to write the History of Electric Telegraphs.  I shall give him the facts concerning mine.  The day after to-morrow I exhibit my telegraphic system again to the Academy of Sciences, and am in the midst of preparations for a day important to me.  I have strong hopes that mine will be the system adopted, but there may be obstacles I do not see.  Wheatstone, at any rate, is not in favor here....

“I like the French.  Every nation has its defects and I could wish many changes here, but the French are a fine people.  I receive a welcome here to which I was a perfect stranger in England.  How deep this welcome may be I cannot say, but if one must be cheated I like to have it done in a civil and polite way.”

He sums up the result of his European trip in a letter to his daughter, written from London on October 9, as he was on his way to Liverpool from where he sailed on November 19, 1845:—­

“I know not what to say of my telegraphic matters here yet.  There is nothing decided upon and I have many obstacles to contend against, particularly the opposition of the proprietors of existing telegraphs; but that mine is the best system I have now no doubt.  All that I have seen, while they are ingenious, are more complicated, more expensive, less efficient and easier deranged.  It may take some time to establish the superiority of mine over the others, for there is the usual array of prejudice and interest against a system which throws others out of use.”


DECEMBER 20, 1845—­APRIL 18, 1849

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Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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