triumphs of genius

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: THE MORSE TELEGRAPH. 1 HILE we listen with wonder to the demands of elec- AI tricity for new avenues in which to exhibit her M V strength and utility, we turn with greater pleasure to the story of no man than to his whose genius first caught the " winged fire " and bade it bear his thoughts in its swift flight to some distant point. To Samuel Morse, the profound scholar, the indefatigable worker, and triumphant inventor, we accord this honor. He it was who first demonstrated a practical method for the transmission of messages through the agency of electricity, a force hitherto familiarly known only as a divine smile playing about the face of some angry storm-cloud. Others had been tampering with this spirit-fire as it came and went in its noiseless way like a ghost, manifesting its presence by a shock that thrilled ever)' fibre of their beings, or else startling them by a spark that instantly vanished. But Morse breathed his thoughts into its current, and bade it deliver them to whomsoever he willed. This most distinguished scion of a distinguished family, Samuel Finley Breese Morse, was born April 27th, 1791, in Charlestown, Mass. His father, Jedediah Morse, himself a sturdy and practical thinker, compiled and published the first geography ever printed on this continent. With a vigor and energy that were but strengthened by difficulties, he laboredon his work of gaining correct statistics and surveys during the week, and on Sunday, in the pulpit, he devoted the day of rest to the religious instruction of the people. Well for us he bequeathed to his eldest son his powers of concentrated thought and the ability to reduce to practical ends the vague dreams of the philosopher. His brother, Sidney, three years his junior, was a brilliant, precocious lad, who, while other boys w...
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