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Saturday, 20 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #64 – 20 June 1840

On June 20, 1840, portrait painter and inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse was granted US Patent 1,647A:

'Improvement in the mode of communicating information by signals by the application of electromagnetism.'

This invention later led to the creation of Morse Code.
In 1832, Morse began perfecting his version of an electric telegraph after he missed the death of his wife due to a lag in communications. 
He had a number of expert collaborators in developing the telegraph. Following the construction, it was apparent that a critical piece was still needed to effectively use it. A code was needed to transmit natural language using only pulses and the silence between them.
In 1836, the development of the Morse Code began with the help from inventor Alfred Vail. Eventually, Morse Code allowed operators to translate pulses and pauses into letters, words, and phrases which led to many other advancements in the 'dots and dashes' communication we know today.

Samuel Morse
27 April, 1791 – 2 April, 1872

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