Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 728

Morse’s Patent of the Telegraph and Related Reports

"[Lot of 3 - Morse’s Telegraph] Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph [in] Report of the Commissioner of Patents... [and] Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, by Professor Morse... [and] “Morse’s Magnetic Telegraph” [in] National Intelligencer",

Subject: Documents - Morse's Telegraph

Period: 1839-44 (published)


Color: Black & White

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This lot contains three items concerning Morse's electric telegraph:

A. "Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph" [in] Report of the Commissioner of Patents..., by U.S. Government, published 1844 (5.8 x 9.1"). An illustrated patent report describing Morse’s telegraph and Ezra Cornell’s invention for laying the telegraph lines. Cornell subsequently founded Western Union. Morse's invention is described on pages 243-247 in the Report of the Commissioner of Patents showing the operations of the Patent Office during the year 1843. Morse also is listed as a patentee on page 375. Bound with other reports. Thick octavo. Full leather with labels on spine. Condition: Text is very good with light toning and scattered foxing. Covers are lightly worn and soiled with bumped edges. (B+)

B. Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, by Professor Morse. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, Transmitting a Letter from Professor Morse, on the Subject of His Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, by U.S. Government, published 1839 (5.6 x 8.7"). In his letter Morse argues that there is no need for the U.S. government to do additional research on telegraph communication as he has “so far tested and perfected my electro-magnetic telegraph as to place its capacity…beyond any doubt.” He states his willingness to work with the Government on a demonstration between New York and Washington or wherever the Government would prefer. He concludes with the news that the French Government has researched the various telegraphs and already has recommended his “American Telegraph” as the “simplest and the best.” 3 pages. Disbound. Condition: Clean, bright, and near fine. (A)

C. “Morse’s Magnetic Telegraph” [in] National Intelligencer, published 1844 (18.6 x 23.0"). Features a front page article beginning: "The perfect success of Professor Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph has excited the astonishment and admiration of the community.” It goes on to describe in detail the operation of the telegraph and, most significantly, gives an example of how it would work in commerce. It concludes with the conviction that it will be seen as “among the most important discoveries and inventions of the present day.” The 4-page complete issue for July 4, 1844 also includes two front page articles regarding the annexation of Texas. Condition: Very good with light scattered foxing and a faint dampstain on the back page. (B+)



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Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $120

Closed on 2/10/2021