Samuel Morse Autograph Letter Bill Sale Piano
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They say the invention of the internet was and is an ongoing project which was by no means invented by one person. It can be said, however that Samuel Morse the inventor of the telegraph put us on the track to the modern high speed global communication so essential and integrated into our daily lives. Up for sale/auction is a rare opportunity to own the hand written letter from Mr. Samuel Morse to Mr. Eaton describing the piano. The letter measures 7 x 5 inches and has normal foxing. Accopamiying the letter is a lined paper receipt measures 3 inches x 1 3/4 inches and describes in detail the acquisition of the Melodian piano, "bought by Samuel Morse on January 27 1863 for the sum of $150, Hillsborough, NH", on the verso in pencil reads, "Presented to Ethel Easton by Joshua Easton Apr. 7 1896 on her eighteenth birthday. The other letter was drafted by the most recent owner a 20th century New England antiques dealer named George Weltman, who on his letter head wrote how he acquired the Melodian piano and Samuel Morse Autograph Letter with a Bill Sale in the early 1920's up in Concord Mass and describes his sale and the transfer of ownership to the current dealer. This rare and unique item has provenance documentation from original owner to owner from the mid 1800 till today in 2006 and spans from the 19th till the 21st century. The Melodian piano has a mahogany case in works with a peddle powered bellows and measuring 56 inches in length, 32 3/4 inches in height, 24 3/4 inches in width. It is in very good condition and although we have been told everything is in place so that it could work, it would be best just to keep it as a decorative object rather than risk damaging it through use. Background: Samuel Morse (1791 - 1872) most famous for his invention of the telegraph was also a prolific artist drawing portraits sketches of students and teachers for a $1 and miniatures on ivory for to support himself while attending Yale university at age 14 where he heard a lecture on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. Keep in mind electricity was still in its infancy as Alessandro Volta of Italy invented created the "voltaic pile," a battery that produces a reliable, steady current of electricity only 5 years earlier in the year 1800. While living with his family in New Haven, Morse paints such distinguished individuals as Eli Whitney, Yale president Jeremiah Day, and his neighbor Noah Webster. He also paints in Charleston and Washington, D.C. He is also commissioned New York City and visits numerous art collections in Europe to study the work of the Old Masters and other painters. Morse is appointed professor of painting and sculpture at the University of the City of New York (now New York University) and works on developing the telegraph. 1837 - In the spring, Morse shows Dr. Gale his plans for "relays," where one electric circuit is used to open and close a switch on another electric circuit further away. For his assistance, the science professor becomes part owner of the telegraph rights. By November, a message can be sent through ten miles of wire arranged on reels in Dr. Gale's university lecture room. In September, Alfred Vail, an acquaintance of Morse, witnesses a demonstration of the telegraph. He is soon taken on as a partner with Morse and Gale because of his financial resources, mechanical skills, and access to his family's iron works for building telegraph models. Dr. Charles T. Jackson, Morse's acquaintance from the 1832 Sully voyage, now claims to be the inventor of the telegraph. Morse obtains statements from those present on the ship at the time, and they credit Morse with the invention. This is the first of many legal battles Morse will face. On September 28, Morse files a caveat for a patent for the telegraph. After completing his last paintings in December, Morse withdraws from painting to devote his attention to the telegraph. The Englishmen William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone patent their own five-needle telegraph system. The system was inspired by a Russian design of an experimental galvanometer telegraph. 1838 - In January, Morse changes from using a telegraphic dictionary, where words are represented by number codes, to using a code for each letter. This eliminates the need to encode and decode each word to be transmitted. On January 24, Morse demonstrates the telegraph to his friends in his university studio. On February 8, Morse demonstrates the telegraph before a scientific committee at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute. He later exhibits the telegraph before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Commerce, chaired by Representative F. O. J. Smith of Maine. On February 21, Morse demonstrates the telegraph to President Martin Van Buren and his cabinet. In March, Congressman Smith becomes a partner in the telegraph, along with Morse, Alfred Vail, and Leonard Gale. On April 6, Smith sponsors a bill in Congress to appropriate $30,000 to build a fifty-mile telegraph line, but the bill is not acted upon. Smith conceals his part-interest in the telegraph and serves out his full term of office. In May, Morse travels to Europe in order to secure patent rights for his electromagnetic telegraph in England, France, and Russia. He is successful in France. In England, Cooke puts his needle telegraph into operation on the London and Blackwall Railway. 1839 - In Paris, Morse meets Louis Daguerre, the creator of the daguerreotype, and publishes the first American description of this process of photography. Morse becomes one of the first Americans to make daguerreotypes in the United States. 1840 - Samuel Morse is granted a United States patent for his telegraph. 1842 - In October, Samuel Morse experiments with underwater transmissions. Two miles of cable is submerged between the Battery and Governor's Island in New York Harbor and signals are sent successfully. 1843 - On March 3, Congress votes to appropriate $30,000 for an experimental telegraph line from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland. Construction of the telegraph line begins several months later. ****NOTE: Email for additional images as well as additional information about the amazing life of Samuel Morse.
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- 19th Cent.
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