Image for The invention of Morse code and the first transatlantic cable

The invention of Morse code and the first transatlantic cable

Duration: 05:55

Michael Mosley, Cassie Newland and Mark Miodownik from the BBC series 'The Genius of Invention' describe the scientific achievements of Samuel Morse. He developed Morse code as a rival to Cook and Wheatstone’s telegraph. It was simple and cheap and quickly became popular.

In the 1850s Morse’s single wire cable system was working all over Europe. In 1858 Queen Victoria sent the first transatlantic message to President James Buchanan. The system failed a month later, but by 1900 the problems that caused the failure had been overcome, and 150,000 miles of cable had been laid underneath oceans all over the world.

Available since: Wed 20 Mar 2013

This clip is from

The Genius of Invention Learning Zone, Communication

3/4 The stories behind the electric telegraph, the telephone and wireless communication.

First broadcast: 20 Mar 2013

Image for Communication Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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