Samuel Morse


Today, we are celebrating the birthday of Samuel Morse, the guy who invented the electric telegraph and Morse Code. What's interesting to me is that Morse chose to fine tune and later publicly demonstrate his electric telegraph machine in the very area where my ancestors once lived and worked.

My ancestor, James Frost, and other men in his family were ironmakers living in Morristown, New Jersey in the mid 1700's. Speedwell Village in Morristown, sprung up in the early 1800's and became the home of Speedwell Ironworks. It was on January 11, 1838 that Speedwell Ironworks became an historic landmark. That was when and where Samuel Morse first publicly demonstrated his electric telegraph.

Even though James Frost died long before Speedwell Ironworks went into business, still he had worked there in that most historic place. Historic because the ironworks of Morristown is where the weapons the continental army used in the American Revolution were made, and historic because, almost 100 years later, Samuel Morse worked on and tested his telegraph machine there in that ironworks plant.

James Frost had left Morristown twenty years before the Revolutionary War. His son, Captain James Frost, Jr., my direct ancestor, who worked as an ironmaker for Troublesome Works in present-day Rockingham County, North Carolina, fought in the revolutionary war at the Battle of Guilford County Courthouse and at Ramsey's Mill.

(The Notorious Meddler in Morse Code)



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